Grantham White Gingerbread

Saturday 27 February 2016

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One thing which I have always enjoyed cooking since coming over to the UK are the old tradition recipes.  Recipes which have their roots deep in British tradition and which have been around for a very long time . . .  recipes which are a part of the fabric of this beautiful country's history and culture.

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This is a recipe which is rooted in the Eggleston Family shop which was situated in Grantham early in the 1800's.  It is pale and light, quite unlike the dark, treacle based recipes which we normally associate with Gingerbread.  This is more like a biscuit/cookie . . .  it was said to have come into being when George Eggleston muddled up the ingredients one evening whilst baking with the result being these delicious crisp and buttery cakes.

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The recipe has been adapted from a recipe I found in a baking book entitled, Cakes, regional and traditional by Julie Duff. I will confess that it was the name Grantham that piqued my curiostity most of all . . .  I am sure most of you are familiar with the Grantham family of Downton Abby Fame.  Could this have been a teatime treat that that most prestigious family might have enjoyed sampling with their afternoon teas?

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Probably not  . . .  it was probably more suited to those servants enjoying a mid afternoon cuppa before their evening duties upstairs begin as they dance attendance to the needs of the family they live to serve.  It's far too rustic to be enjoyed upstairs . . .  it's a dunker, plain and simple, and I just cannot imagine the Dowager dunking anything, truth be told.

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 Dunking might have been considered far too crude . . .  and these tasty babies beg to be dunked . . . delicious on their own  . . .  once dunked  . . . they become quite magical.

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I enjoyed mine with a nice hot cuppa Newby Rooiboos Orange tea.  It was perfect.  I do hope that you will take the opportunity to bake these delightful biscuits . . .  you will not be sorry.  They're not pretty . . .  but where they may fall short in the looks department, they more than make up for in the taste department.

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*Grantham White Gingerbread*
Makes about 24 pieces

This is quite different than the dark treacle based cake we usually associate with Gingerbread.  Instead they are lovely and crisp at the edges, chewy in the middle gingerbread biscuit/cookie that is not entirely uncomfortable with being dunked.  Delicious! 

115g of butter (1/2 cup) room temperature
275g soft light brown sugar (1 1/4 cups packed)
1 large free range egg
225g of self raising flour (1 1/2 cups plus 2 TBS)
1 level tablespoon of ground ginger
(Yes, this is correct 1 TBS) 

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Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Butter a large baking sheet.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and brown sugar together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg.  Sift the flour and ginger into the bowl and stir together until you have a firm dough.  Knead gently a few times to totally incorporate and then break off into 24 equal pieces, rolling each into a ball and placing it onto the buttered baking tray.  Leave plenty of space for them to spread out.

Bake in the centre of the oven until very pale golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes baking time.  allow to stand on the tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Note:  Mine did run together a bit when baking, but that was not a problem as I used a very small spatula to cut mark cuts in them before they cooled and before lifting them off of the baking tray.

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I do believe that this is the type of biscuit that might have tempted Lord Grantham down into the kitchen to indulge in after dark, when all the servants have been settled into bed . . .  a midnight snack for he and Cora.  Not that he would ever admit to doing such a thing . . . shhhhh!  Don't tell on him!

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I'm quite sure he would enjoy every crisp, buttery and gingery little nibble.  Bon Appetit!


  1. I love seeing LG's animated face here:) LOL
    And the cookies and one of your fave cups marie!

    1. Once I found it Monique I couldn't resist using it! These are great biscuits! Lovely with a hot drink! Nice and gingery! Xo

  2. They look yummy, definitely going to have to try those
    Julie xxxxxx

  3. Looking forward to trying these-love ginger!


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