This is a heavily adapted recipe from The Best of Good Housekeeping (1977). As children, my sister and I grew up making batches of these biscuits from my mother’s recipe every year and it’s still a Christmas tradition in my family to this day.
Makes approximately 20/25 biscuits (depending on cutter size)
4 oz. (113 g) self-raising flour
½ level tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1-2 level tsps. ground ginger
1 level tsp. ground cinnamon
2 level tsps. caster/granulated sugar
1 oz. (28 g) dark brown sugar/muscavado sugar
2 oz. (57 g) butter
1.5 oz. (43 g) golden syrup
1.5 oz. (43 g) molasses/black treacle
1/2 tsp. ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp 5 spice
1. Preheat your oven to 190 ˚C.
2. Sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and sugar.
3. Melt the butter and stir in the syrup and molasses.
4. Stir into the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Flour your work surface and roll the dough to a thickness of about 0.25 cm and cut out biscuits.
6. Place well apart on a greased baking sheet and bake just above the centre of the oven for about 5-8 minutes.
7. Cool for a few minutes before lifting carefully from the baking sheet and placing on a cooling rack to finish cooling fully (If you have overcooked them slightly, move them from the baking tray immediately so they don’t carry on cooking.). Ice and/or store in an airtight tin.
Tip: We use fun Christmas cutters to make these biscuits extra festive, but be aware that they do spread a little. If you want a sharp edge to your biscuit, recut them once they’re out of the oven, before allowing them to cool.
Tip: We pipe a thin line of glacé icing (icing sugar + boiling water) around the edge of the biscuit, however, you could also spread a thin layer across if you’re not a fan of piping. If you are making these for an event, don’t pipe the icing more than 24 hours before hand because it will pick up some of the colour of the biscuits and lose its cleanness.