A few weeks ago, I came across a post from The Kitchn about the Scandanavian tradition of serving thin gingersnap biscuits with blue cheese as an appetiser. As I have a passion for both gingersnaps and blue cheese, this seemed like an irresistibly delicious idea. I could have just gone to the supermarket and bought a packet of Anna’s ginger thins but I couldn’t help but think this would be doubly delicious if I made my own.
This is why I love the internet – you can have a vague thought about making something and a click of the mouse later, you have several recipes to choose from. This particular recipe is allegedly Chez Panisse’s recipe for their famed ginger snap biscuits. I didn’t actually know Chez Panisse had a famed gingersnap biscuit but, there you go, you learn something new every minute in the information age.
I made up this dough one night, rolled it into three logs, then stuck the logs in the freezer and forgot about them for a week. By the time I baked it off about a week later, I’d forgotten about the whole blue cheese idea because they were just so delicious on their own, especially when just baked. They really are very difficult to stop eating, there is something about how small and thin they are that makes it very easy to justify just having one more. When my son first tried them, he immediately said: ‘can you make these for my birthday?’, supplanting homemade Oreos as his birthday biscuit of choice.
And yes, they are fantastic served with blue cheese (or a soft white cheese for those who can’t hack the pungency of the blue). Add some slices of pear and it is a perfect winter appetiser. For greater Scandanavian authenticity, serve it with a glass of glogg.
Swedish ginger thins
Adapted from Simply Recipes
- 250 grams (8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1¼ cup cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2½ teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- Cream butter until soft, then add sugar and beat until pale and creamy.
- Beat in vanilla and eggs, then add molasses and beat until well combined.
- Sift all dry ingredients – flour, salt, bicarb soda, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper.
- Add dry ingredients to butter mix, in three lots. Mix until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
- Mould into three logs about 5 cm (2½ inches) in diameter. I wrap the logs in baking paper and put them in an airtight container in freezer. Freeze until logs are very firm (preferably overnight).
- When you are ready to bake, preheat oven t0 180°C or 160°C fan forced (350°F).
- Slice logs into very the thinnest slices you can, no more than 2mm (1/8 inch). (The thinner the slices the crisper the gingersnap will be) Line baking trays with baking paper and place biscuits on tray about an inch apart.
- Bake for about 7–12 minutes until the edges are very dark brown, you can almost burn these biscuits and they will taste the more delicious for it. Check them after about seven minutes, timing will depend on how thinly you have sliced the dough. My biscuits took about nine minutes.
Makes about 8 dozen biscuits