One of the sad things about being stuck with a gluten free diet is that certain favourites simply disappear from the menu.
There’s a small but very particular list that I haven’t been able to replicate. Genuine yeasted doughnuts, not the cakey kind raised with bicarbonate of soda. Crusty, artisanal bread, fresh from the oven. Decent scones. If anyone out there has bomb-proof gluten free recipes for these that don’t rely on some hard-to-source local ingredient, then I want to hear from you.
The last one on the list has been, up to this point, the ginger nut. UK readers will recognise this this as the hard, crunchy, crisp and intensely gingery ultimate dunking bicky (cookie). It doesn’t fall apart even when saturated with the hot brown beverage of your choice, so invaluable for tea-dunking, coffee-dunking, and personally, I’ve been known to dunk them in a mug of hot chocolate too. I have been slaving tirelessly behind the scenes on your behalf to perfect a gluten free solution for the world. OK, I admit to enjoying the testing process. A lot. And now, I have it!
I bring you the Gluten Free Ginger Nut
1 cup almond meal
¼ cup plain/all purpose flour
1 tsp bicarb/baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tblsp ground dried ginger
85g/3oz butter at room temperature
¾ cup soft dark brown (turbinado) sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1½ tblsp molasses
What you do:
Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Line two cookie sheets with baking paper.
Sift together the flour, bicarb soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
Cream the butter and brown sugar in a mixer, scraping down occasionally, till paler and fluffy. Beat in egg till fully blended. Beat in molasses till fully blended.
Fold in half the sifted dry ingredients by hand, scrape down and then mix in the rest at low speed in the mixer.
Scoop rounded teaspoonfuls of the batter and place on the baking paper, about 5cm/2 inches apart (the batter will spread).
Bake for 12-15 minutes until dark brown. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. They should be the colour shown in the photo. Any paler and they’ll be chewy instead of crunchy. Of course, if that’s your preference, cook them for 10-12 minutes. It takes all sorts…
Remove from the oven and whip the sheet of baking paper off the sheet and onto a wire cooling rack so the biscuits cool quickly without getting soft on the bottom.
Try and wait till they’re cool before you tuck in. Put the kettle on.
Ah me, the hardships I endure in the interests of gluten free baking.