What is it?: Deliciously chewy spelt cookies with a massive hit of ginger
Occasion: Easter Monday teatime
There is nothing like having a long weekend at Easter as an excuse to get in some serious kitchen time. As the end of last week drew near I began to relish the thought of the amount of time I could spend cooking and baking. The first task was making a variety of vegetarian mezzes for some start-the-weekend drinks: halloumi with chilli (Nigella), sweet potato falafel (Leon), courgette and green bean salad (River Cottage), spanikopita (Food Stories), houmous (own) and flatbreads (Khan’s bargains). Then I embarked on some fairly disastrous rum and raisin hot cross buns, which was disappointing as I had high hopes. Perhaps I shouldn’t have based them on the Peyton and Byrne recipe that had let me down last year. Lessons learned there, I think. My Easter Sunday lunch for my parents consisted of an enormous roast leg of lamb followed by none other than recipe #2 from this very blog: Dan’s steamed chocolate pudding. If I didn’t convey the message clearly enough in that post – it is beyond amazing. Like bathing in a pool of chocolate heaven. I strongly urge you to try it. Ollie’s parents arrived on Easter Monday and, prior to our much-anticipated lunch at The Clockhouse in East Dulwich, we were to have some tea and biscuits. Cue Short and Sweet for inspiration.
I have a massive ginger addiction and have had my eye on Dan’s spelt and ginger cookies for some time. My friend Naomi also told me that these were her favourite recipe from the entire book. I had a huge bag of spelt flour lurking at the back of the baking cupboard and decided to go for it. It was a remarkably easy recipe to make and I had most of the ingredients already, but had to substitute the golden syrup for some maple-flavoured golden syrup that I was given as a freebie. There is something beautiful about melting together syrup and butter on the stove and then adding the rest of the ingredients to that mixture. Once it comes together into a dough, you just roll out little balls and place them on a baking sheet ready for the oven. Easy peasy.
These cookies did not disappoint one bit. The texture was chewy and slightly nutty from the spelt flour, but the overwhelming aspect was the great big whack of ginger you get from the combination of stem and ground gingers in the mixture. The addition of the maple-flavoured golden syrup didn’t drastically alter the taste, but did give it a slight pleasant smokiness, which suggests that these cookies would also work with maple syrup as well. The recipe made about 35 cookies, which seven of us took about half an hour to devour.
In other news
Despite eating the mountain of biscuits, we also managed to eat some quite sizeable roast dinners at the newly-reopened The Clockhouse in East Dulwich. I have written about this on my other blog, which can be found here.