I improvised with this recipe in desperation the day before an event I hosted last weekend, and thank god they turned out to be a huge win. I always loved gingernut biscuits as a child, and so it is with great pleasure that I present to you this healthier and all-natural variation, which, IMO, is better than the shop-bought ones I used to crave.
These biscuits are so crunchy and bake to perfection, and unlike most processed biscuits are a) only gently sweet (and only sweetened with natural and nutrient-rich sweeteners) and b) gluten-free and c) made with only 5 main ingredients, and absolutely no additives / flavourings / preservatives or anything else funky you wouldn’t recognise.
I personally love the ginger, but you could also leave the ginger out and / or swap for other spices (such as cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom).
For the biscuit
200g gluten free oat flour (gluten-free oats ground in a food processor until they resemble a fine flour consistency)
50g coconut sugar
60g coconut oil
50ml natural syrup (like date syrup, coconut blossom nectar, maple syrup or organic / raw honey)
Pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons ground ginger (to taste)
For the chocolate layer
100g cacao butter (a combination of part cacao butter, part coconut oil will also work)
Pinch of sea salt
40g cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or natural syrup (see above for options)
To top (optional)
Crushed hazelnuts or other nuts
Halved or full clementine segments (or other fresh or dried fruits)
Preheat the oven to 160c.
Start by making the biscuit. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until they form a crumbly dough. The mixture should stick together compactly when pressed with the back of a spoon or spatula, or when squeezed between your fingers.
Tip the mixture out onto a flat baking tray. You can grease the tray with a little coconut oil, but I didn’t feel the need to, and the biscuits didn’t stick. Spread the mixture out evenly across the baking tray and then press down with the palm of your hands, your fingers and fists - whatever works for you. The aim is to make the mixture completely compact, pressing it together and spreading it evenly to about 0.5mm in thickness. Pat the mixture and bring the sides in as much as possible, then when the mixture is as flat, even and compact as you can get it, use a sharp knife to gently slice off the edges (which will look slightly uneven and loose) to make them clean-cut and straight.
Next, use the same knife to gently score the mixture into biscuit shapes. I use the knife to make small rectangle shapes, but you could make squares or other shapes, or use a cookie cutter if you’d prefer. Ensure the knife cuts through to meet the baking tray rather than just lightly scoring the mixture, as this will make it much easier to break the cookies apart when they have baked.
Place inside the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-20 minutes. The baking time will depend on the thickness of your biscuits. Just keep an eye on them after 10-12 minutes, and if they still feel a little soft, leave them baking for a little longer. The edges should begin to brown slightly. If you aren’t sure if the biscuits are done, try to break an edge piece off and leave it to cool for a few minutes before testing. It should be crisp and crunchy, and ideally not chewy - unless you prefer them a little chewy in which case, remove from the oven slightly earlier.
When you are happy with the baked texture, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully breaking the biscuits apart along the lines / cutter shapes you made before baking.
Set aside on a cooling rack to cool whilst you prepare the chocolate.
To make the chocolate, fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pan (creating a double boiler), then add the cacao butter and salt.
Once the cacao butter has melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder. Add your natural sweetener and whisk again, until combined.
Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes ideally, and then, one by one, dip the biscuits into the chocolate, on one of the flat sides only. Place immediately in the freezer on a tray or plate, and repeat until each biscuit as been dipped. After about 5-10 minutes in the freezer, double dip, to get a thicker layer of chocolate. This time, before placing in the freezer to set, sprinkle with your crushed nuts and fruit - if using. Then, this time, place in the fridge in an airtight container to set and store them hear until ready to eat (you can also store at room temperature but the chocolate may soften a little, depending on the temperature of the surrounding area).