Fiona’s Ginger-Nut Biscuits from Drums of Autumn
He turned over a page, and stopped, feeling as though he’d been punched in the stomach.
May 1, 1945. Craigh na Dun, Inverness-shire, Scotland. Claire Randall, age 27, housewife. Seen last in early morning, having declared intention to visit the circle in search of unusual plant specimens, did not return by dark. Car found parked at foot of hill. No traces in circle, no signs of foul play.
He turned the page gingerly, as though expecting it to blow up in his hand. So Claire had inadvertently given Gillian Edgars part of the evidence that had led to her own experiment. Had Geilie found the reports of Claire’s return, three years later?
No, evidently not, he concluded, after flipping back and forth through those pages — or if she had, she hadn’t recorded it here.
Fiona had brought him more tea and a plate of fresh ginger-nut biscuits, which had sat untouched since he had begun reading. A sense of obligation rather than hunger made him pick up a biscuit and take a bite, but the sharp-flavored crumbs caught in his throat and made him cough.
Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (Chapter 32 – Grimoire)
Too bad she’s a blonde. Otherwise ginger-nut biscuits would be the perfect character-inspired food for Gillian, aka Geillis, and her Grimoire.
Because if there was a team NutBar, Mrs. Edgars/Duncan/Robicheaux/Abernathy would be its undisputed captain.
For all time.
A traditional British ginger biscuit is a little crisper than these. But since we’ve already sampled some buttery-crisp cookies, in the form of Mrs. Graham’s Chocolate Biscuits, I went out on a limb and made these ones a little softer.
Fiona’s Ginger-Nut Biscuits are moderately sweet, leaving room for the ginger and cinnamon to shine through bite after bite, and the light sugar coating and occasional crunchy burst of kosher salt add a textural component to our love affair with sweet and salty treats.
In other words, they’re really good.
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
Soft cake-like cookies spiced with ginger and cinnamon and studded with little bursts of salt. The perfect match with a cup of tea or coffee, to fuel another review of Geillis’s nasty book of horrors. <shudder>
Yield: 2 dozen large cookies
- Butter, softened – 1 Cup
- Brown Sugar – 1 ⅓ Cup (lightly packed)
- Honey – ¼ Cup
- Egg – 2
- All-Purpose Flour – 3 Cups
- Ground Ginger – 4 tsp
- Baking Soda – 2 tsp
- Cinnamon – 1 tsp
- Kosher or Coarse Salt – 1 tsp
- White Granulated Sugar – ½ Cup (for rolling)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, cream butter with brown sugar vigourously until fluffy. Beat in honey and eggs until well combined and smooth.
In another bowl, combine flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into wet ingredients until just mixed.
Shape into golf-sized balls and roll in white sugar to coat. Place on an ungreased or parchment -lined cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Do not flatten.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven and rest on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool.
Ith gu leòir! (Eat Plenty)
- Love ginger? Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped crystallized ginger before shaping into balls.
- These cookies freeze very well. Alternatively, the recipe is easily halved if you only need a dozen, or doubled for even more!
- No kosher or coarse salt? Substitute ½ tsp table salt.