I have a number of the River Cottage Handbooks and I love them all very much. I make no secret of my love affair with the Bread Handbook ~ It is the book that taught me so much about bread baking and inspired me tremendously in the kitchen. I was thrilled last year when the Cakes Handbook came out. I ordered it straight away and I've been charmed ever since. Every recipe I have made has been a smashing success. There are a few recipes that I have been especially intrigued by. Grasmere Gingerbread is one of them. Pam describes the recipe as chewy, gingery shortbread. Seriously? sounds perfect to me!
I'm a ginger lover. I've always loved a good ginger bread with a great big dollop of whipped cream on top and ginger snaps were a staple in my house growing up. I loved dunking the crunchy cookies into a nice cold glass of milk. Ginger snaps always remind me of my Mum, who absolutely loves them. I know she'd be really keen on Grasmere Gingerbread as well.
The recipe was easy and straightforward. Although I really like the cookies, I did wish they were a bit sweeter. I think next go 'round I'd add a bit more sugar or even substitute the root ginger for a candied ginger to pump up the sweetness. The cookies are really interesting, at first you get a buttery, oaty hit and then the lime and ginger kick in, it's a great combination. I like that these cookies last for an age in an air tight tin, two whole weeks! And they only get better with age, the flavor becomes more potent and the chewy factor definitely improves. Another winner from Pam the Jam!
125g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 ts baking powder
125g fine oatmeal
125g soft brown sugar
175 unsalted butter
50 fresh ginger, grated or 50g candied ginger, finely chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of one lime
2 Tb flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line and grease a 8x10" baking tray, I used a 9" square tray as 8x10 isn't a very common sized tray here in the US.
Sift the flour, ground ginger and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the oatmeal and sugar and mix well. Melt the butter in a saucepan and pour into the dry ingredients. Add the ginger, lime zest and lime juice. Mix well until a moist dough forms. Press the mixture into the tin and sprinkle over the flaked almonds. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden around the edges. Mark the dough immediately upon removing from the oven, like you would a shortbread, into squares or fingers. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the tin. Store in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.