This truly is an old fashioned gingernut biscuit recipe! I was putting together a quick batch for a picnic over the weekend and realised I’d been making this particular recipe for well over 30 years. You know you have a winning recipe when you remember it by heart all those years later and still make them regularly.
It’s an awesome back pocket recipe for when you don’t have much exciting in the pantry, they also don’t melt which is a big bonus for Australian picnics and they don’t drop too many crumbs which is great for cleaning the car after a road trip.
We’ve been heading out on a few road trips again lately and working our way through many of these 25 fabulous day trips from Brisbane again before setting our sights on a few longer distance drives. These gingernut biscuits are a staple either way!
Now I know the original recipe came from a small softcover book, one of those black and white ones with no photos. I think it was Alison Holst but as I say that was over 30 years ago and I don’t have the original book so I make if from my head and I know its evolved a little from the original over the years and been scaled up to make a decent batch but this version works well every time. I often double this recipe, as they last well in an airtight container if they get the chance.
Now if you don’t know who Alison Holst is she’s a Kiwi icon. She’s been on cooking shows and writing books since before I was born and she basically ‘taught’ every Kiwi of my generation how to cook with nutritious, affordable everyday recipes. Which in turn fostered a love of local, fresh food and a bit more experimenting in the kitchen – with these old faithfuls to turn back to from time to time.
Table of Contents
Making Gingernut Biscuits
Getting set up
I turn the oven on to bake at 180° Celcius or fan bake at 170° Celcius as I get started, the trays should be ready to load by the time the oven is up to heat. Fan bake will cook and colour more evenly when you have multiple trays in the oven at once.
I also suggest lining your trays with baking paper as it speeds up the dishes afterwards but greasing them or using silicon baking sheets will also work.
Preparing the Cookie Dough
I was born in the UK, grew up in New Zealand and now call Australia home, so I definitely call these biscuits not cookies but for some reason, I’ve noticed that I call the uncooked mix cookie dough, no idea when I picked that up.
Something I really do appreciate with this recipe is that I can make it all in the one pot so if you start with a larger one than you need to melt the butter you’ll save time at the sink later.
Melt the butter together with the golden syrup. Stir in the sugar and then the beaten egg. Finally add the dry ingredients, the flour, baking soda and ginger. Then stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined, it will only take a few turns.
There’s not a lot of ingredients and they are things that are always in my fridge and pantry making these so easy to whip up at any time.
Getting ready to bake
Line up your lined baking slides next to your dough. Wet your hands just slightly and begin rolling the dough into smooth balls about the size of a 20c coin. Having wet hands stops the dough from sticking to you and helps get them sized evenly and smoothly for a more visual appealing end result.
Place the 2 trays into the oven at a time and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Do you love an old fashioned homemade biscuit now and again? What are your favourites?
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Monday 14th of November 2022
I've been looking for the recipe my mother used to make 'way back when'... I'm 76... and this is it!! Thank you. It's the chewy-ness that's so good.
Monday 14th of November 2022
Isn't food such a wonderful trigger for special memories of those we love
Thursday 16th of December 2021
I need to shape ginger biscuit , Santa , Christmas tree, can it be done on present mixture
Friday 17th of December 2021
Hi Ken, no this is the wrong sort of ginger cookie for that, these are a soft dough that is shaped into balls that flatten as they cook. You'd want a heavier gingerbread dough that is rolled for you to be able to cut it into shapes. Normally that will be a recipe that starts with beating the butter and sugar together. These are a traditional ginger cookie or gingernut, try looking for gingerbread cookies/biscuits recipes, you should see several in holiday theme if you search on Google or your preferred search engine. Good luck & happy Christmas.
Friday 14th of May 2021
Can I use a cookie nozzle to drop the mixture into baking sheet?
Tuesday 18th of May 2021
Hi Indira. I haven't made these using a cookie nozzle and recommend forming them by rolling into balls as that gives the classic round shape and cracked finish.
Sunday 9th of August 2020
Hi. Have you amended this recipe recently? I am so sure your recipie has been my go to for gingernuts via Pinterest but when I went in today the egg and flour quantities are different to what I remember?
Monday 10th of August 2020
Hi Anne, thanks so much for your feedback. When I updated some of the photos recently I had changed the quantities to reflect the double batch that I usually make. I hadn't considered that many readers, like yourself, access it from Pinterest and this would be confusing, I have adjusted it back to the original batch size this morning so it should be all good again now. Thanks again for raising this.
Saturday 8th of August 2020
Hi, I made these lovely cookies but added some chopped dark chocolate and glaced ginger,reduced the sugar to 1 3/4 cup and they came out fabulous .Definitely a keeper. Thank you ???
Monday 10th of August 2020
Hi Soraya, thanks for your suggestion, dark chocolate and ginger are always a winning combination