Fiona’s Ginger-Nut Biscuits from Drums of Autumn

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.

sugared-dough-balls

 

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.

ginger-cookies

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Fiona’s Ginger-Nut Biscuits from DOA

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)

Notes:

  • 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.

ginger-nut-biscuits

 

I am a professional chef, a food writer and an unabashed fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

31 Comments

  1. Ms. Aaron Brown

    YUMMY! I will be giving these a try for sure!

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Hope you’re having a great holiday, Aaron!

      Reply

  2. bullrem

    I am not a big fan of ginger. I might pass on these. But I have a question from your text. You noted that you were making these a little softer than usually presented. How do you do that? I love the Loft Brand of iced sugar cookies and I have tried and tried to copy them. Suggestions please – Yes, I know this is not Outlander unless we stretch the thought of Loft being a place that Jemmy would have slept in the cabin…. Happy Memorial Day, Helen in Ark.

    Reply

    • Theresa

      The softness of a cookie is a result of the amount of butter and sugar…as well as the method used to bring the dough together. Any recipe that calls for the butter and sugar to be creamed together incorporates air into the dough, making it softer and chewier. Try starting with a little more butter, and remove the cookies from the oven a minute or 2 earlier — the edges should just be set. Good luck, Helen!

      Reply

  3. Carla Oliver Radhouani (aka Lady Oliver)

    I just read this part yesterday and was wondering when you’d be making these. Too funny :) I’m pinning this to try later (once I’m recovered from all the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Creme Brulee I ate this weekend).

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Sounds like someone has a sweet tooth! :D

      Reply

  4. ML

    So what would you do to make them traditional & crisper? I have a triple ginger soft cookie recipe that I love, found on the King Arthur website for anyone wanting to know. So I would love to know what I could do for the crisper version. I love most anything with Ginger.

    Reply

    • Theresa

      ML, if you google Ginger-Nut Biscuit, you’ll find a number of recipes from the UK and Australia, all of which result in a thin, crisp cookie.

      But, if you can wait a week, it looks like I`ll be posting a recipe for crisp ginger biscuits as well — gotta go with what the crowd is telling me…:)

      Reply

  5. Barbara Medeiros

    But…but…where are the nuts? Unless you’ve factored in Geilie’s behaviors!
    And, for those who prefer a crisper cookie, I think you would add a bit more flour.

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Ginger-nut is an older term for ginger, Barbara…the shape of the root having a nut-like shape.

      Simply adding flour to this recipe will not necessarily result in a crisper cookie — too much flour will result in a dry, crumbly cookie with little flavour. If crisp is what you prefer, come back again next week…I`ll have a recipe up. :)

      Reply

  6. Lori Riedel

    Love Ginger, Love this Recipe! Cant wait to make them, thank you.

    Reply

    • Theresa

      My pleasure, Lori! I hope you enjoy them…Theresa

      Reply

  7. kimcg

    I made these this morning and they are very good, I’m sure they will not last long in this house and will have to make more,

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Glad you liked them Kim! And thanks for letting me know…Theresa

      Reply

  8. ruaTimeTraveler2

    Have you tried them with Molasses…..instead of Honey?
    Awesome as always…Now I need to make me some to have with my coffee…

    Reply

  9. cynthia schultz

    Just tried the cookies!!! Amazing!! Will be making these regularly! Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Great news, Cynthia! I quite liked them too. :)

      Reply

  10. dearli13

    yum! can’t wait to try these!!!
    it’s a pain in the arse printing out all these recipes OK, and i can’t stand using my ipad in the kitchen (fear of splatter ifyouknowwhatimean)….any idea when the book will be out?

    Reply

  11. kimcg

    Okay! I have made several batches now and every time they are gone the family is looking for more, I will be busy in the Kitchen :)
    I have tried them with Molasses instead of Honey they are just as good.
    Oh have to go another batch is ready to come out of the oven

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Great news, Kim! Thank you…keep on eating! LOL

      Reply

  12. nadine

    “Ginger-Nut Biscuits”… where are the nuts?

    Reply

  13. Jayne

    These look amazing! We’re in the middle of moving and all of my baking supplies are packed up :( But I am so going to try these when I get moved in!

    I love your website. It creates a brand new way to enjoy the series.

    Reply

    • Theresa

      That’s OK, Jayne…just bookmark it for later!

      Reply

  14. Kell Chapman

    can i make these gluten and lactose free?

    Reply

    • Theresa

      There is no dairy in these, Kell, so the lactose free is easy! As for substituting for the flour, I don’t have a lot of experience with gluten-free baking, so I can’t offer much advice, except to search for gluten-free cookie recipes and see what others use. Keep in mind on your search that these are cakey cookies. Good luck! Love to hear about your results!

      Reply

  15. Gisela

    I have made these biscuits and they are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! My kids cant get enough of them! I will bake some more tomorrow! Thank you sae much!

    Reply

  16. Kate

    These are so moist and yummy. The kids loved them too. I used fresh ginger because I didn’t have powdered but the they were seriously amazing cookies

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Thanks, Kate! I’m going to have to try them with fresh ginger too!

      Reply

  17. Stacey Locklin

    I tried these for the first time tonight and they ate delicious. Easy to make. Great recipe. Will be making again.

    Reply

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