ginger biscuits

Hello lovely readers, 

I'm happy to announce that Ballerina Chef has turned 1 today.

Naturally I'm celebrating with an early 9 o'clock ballet class, a Swan Lake stage call and a performance of Don Juan, but I'd like to pretend that we're also throwing a massive party with tons of confetti and cake - and maybe confetti cake - to commemorate this special "birthday".

Ballerina Chef started merely as a side-project created to keep me sane and to give me an excuse for buying Ottolenghi cookbooks, but it's grown much more than I'd ever anticipated in such a short period of time, and it's all thanks to you - my dear internet buddy. 

Born in to a family of computer-savvy smartypants, I've always been drawn to the magic of the internet and how it connects people, finds cool friends for you, and of course, helps you share your happiness with the world.

It was inevitable that I'd find myself sitting and typing like - albeit much slower than - the rest of the Zhou clan. 

I used to despise ginger.

Growing up it was that gross thing lurking in every dish at the table. Along with garlic, ginger was always piled high on the reject napkin. My sister and I complained all the time to our mom about why she had to cook with ginger (this came amongst complaints about why we didn't get pizza night and couldn't get Gushers at the grocery store, which I take back). I can recall many, many instances of chomping down on a seemingly yummy bite of food, only to end up with a mouth full of ginger.


Recently, however, I have to admit that I've taken a liking to ginger. What started as a weakness for Ginger Nut biscuits has now turned in to a full-blown ginger tea and candied ginger obsession. You'll even find me greedily eating sushi ginger from time to time... Which is any time I can get my hands on some.

I like to think that it's because I've developed a more sophisticated palette in my ripe old age of 20 + 1 years. 

I've even taken a liking to wine, and that's been quite mind boggling...

Or, maybe it's just that ginger is so good for you, that my body has convinced me to like it. 

I've been making a lot of biscuits recently - or cookies as we call them in 'Merica - with the Christmas season and all of that, so today, I'm thrilled to share my recipe for these spicy ginger biscuits. 

Ginger is what everyone tells you to eat/drink when you're sick, and as it's winter, I'm doing you the biggest favor ever, and telling you my secret to great health.

These cookies.

Whether you're feeling sick or not, make these and eat these. You'll feel like a million bucks.

You're welcome.

Ginger Biscuits

*Makes about 7 dozen biscuits*

3 cups of plain flour, about 425 g
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp table salt
3 tbs powdered ginger
1 tbs cinnamon

80 g butter, room temperature
1.5 cups of white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup stem ginger syrup
4 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped

Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy - about two minutes. Slowly beat in the sugar and follow with the egg, vanilla extract, ginger syrup and stem ginger.
Continue whisking and add the flour mixture in two additions. Switch to your hands and bring the mixture together. Don't worry if it is still slightly crumbly.
Divide the dough in half, shape the halves in to discs and wrap each separately in cling film. Let the dough sit at room temperature for an hour or two.

Preheat the oven to 180C/360F.
Roll the dough out until it is about a 1/4 inch or about 1/2 cm thick. Cut desired shapes with a cookie cutter of your choice.
Lay on to a baking tray lined with parchment paper with about a 1/2 inch space between the cookies.
Bake until the smell of ginger is wafting through your kitchen and the cookies have turned golden-brown. Depending on the size of your cookies this will take somewhere between 8-12 minutes. (Mine baked for 9.5.)
Remove from the tray and let cool.

Instagram [#ballerinachef] and enjoy!

xx p


© 2014 The Ballerina Chef