Friday, 12 September 2014

Sugar-free gingerbread biscuits


250g plain flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tbsp ground ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 75g coconut palm sugar, 1 egg, 75g butter, 1 tsp hazelnut honey (optional).
Serves: 30-40 Preparation: 1 hour

Being the mother of an 18-month old starchild and an all-round healthy person myself, I am wicked-keen to replace refined sugar in all of my baking and cooking wherever possible. There are some recipes however where honey, banana or fruit juice just won't cut it - biscuits need sugar. It's science! So this month I am experimenting with *deep breath* Coconut palm sugar, coconut palm blossom syrup, agave syrup, and hazelnut honey which is just about the most delicious caramel-textured substance that I have ever encountered. 

These wonderful crisp gingerbread biscuits are spicy and sweet and will fill your house with the most amazing Christmassy smell.

1) Sift together the dry ingredients - flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda - and add to a food processor along with the butter. Blitz until fine breadcrumbs are formed.

2) Whisk the egg with the hazelnut honey if you're using it and add it, along with the sugar into the food processor and blitz through until the mixture comes together into a stiff dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes whilst you pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (and clean up, if you're anything like me!).

3) LaRoll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface (I like to sprinkle a little extra ground ginger and allspice onto the surface as it not only gives the dough that lovely slightly freckled appearance but is just another excuse for The Tastiness) and roll out the biscuits to about 1/2cm thickness.

4) Cut out the shapes of your choice - stars of course being our preference! - and transfer to a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

5) It is of course traditional to decorate them, but I prefer to dust edible gold rather than ice them.

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