Swedish cut ginger biscuits

Another biscuit I sometimes make is Swedish cut gingerbread. Often, guests ask me for the recipe so now I can simply tell them to get it from here.

They are super easy to make, and the advantage for me is that I can make a massive amount and freeze the dough, then bake them in a matter of minutes whenever I want. In fact, you can only use the dough frozen as it will not cut otherwise.

Being a Swedish recipe, all measurements are in dl. 1 dl equals 100ml, 1000ml equals 1 litre. I usually make this recipe x4, which makes all the rolls you see below. I can never have enough!

2 dl almonds

200g butter, room temp

2 dl sugar

1 dl golden syrup

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp bicarb

6 dl plain flour

Chop the almonds roughly. Mix butter and sugar, add golden syrup and the spices and bicarb. Add the chopped almonds and most of the flour, mix and add flour until the dough is not sticky but holds together well. It will look like this:

gingerbread2Form long rolls, wrap in foil, freeze at least overnight.

gingerbread1Cut frozen dough with a sharp knife into thin slices.

gingerbread3Bake at 175 degrees Celcius 7-10 minutes. Watch them, as they are very keen on going from uncooked to burnt in seconds. They are at their best with a bit of colour, just before they burn. Leave to cool on the oven tray and they will harden up. Only bake what you need, as they are best fresh!

gingerbread4

1-2-3 biscuits

On occasion, I make biscuits. Sometimes for guests, sometimes just for me. Here is a recipe which I do a lot. All my biscuit recipes are good to freeze as a finished dough, you just take out what you need and bake! Biscuits in minutes.

1-2-3 biscuits are called that because of the proportions. 100g sugar, 200g fat and 300g flour. You can use a lot less sugar though, reducing it by half is still fine.

Butter or margarine? Butter tastes better, but margarine makes for a longer lasting biscuit. I prefer butter every time.

Here are the proportions I use. Might as well make lots.

2,4 litres plain flour

6 dl sugar (I believe 2,5 dl = 1 Australian cup)

1 kg butter, or margarine if you must, room temperature

2 eggs

Put butter in the biggest bowl you have, add sugar and mix with your hands until smooth. Add eggs, mix. Add flour, a bit at a time until it releases from your hands and holds well together without being crumbly. Done!

Now decide what kind of biscuits you are making. You can add chopped raisins, chopped cooking chocolate, spices and essences, you can shape it in a roll and roll the edges in cinnamon, so much choice! It is such a versatile dough, split it in ten parts and make ten kinds. It has to be the easiest bikkie in the world. Here’s what I just made:

Jam biscuits

Roll into balls, shape with thumb.

biscuit2biscuit3Freeze like this, add jam later.

Chopped raisin ”fork biscuit”

Chope a tremendous amount of raisins, mix into part of the dough. Roll into balls. Freeze.

biscuit1When ready to bake, thaw, shape with a fork, bake.

Ready for the freezer and some tasting samples…

biscuit5Bake for 7-10 minutes 180 degrees Celcius. You can bake hotter for a less durable biscuit and lower for a more lasting one. Because a hotter temp bakes them quickly on the outside, the inside is slightly less cooked and so it doesn’t keep as well. Not that it matters really.

These biscuits are what I learnt to make in school in Sweden. Still is as good, many years on. I just remembered another thing, when we came home from school we sometimes made a tiny version of this mixed in a coffeecup, ate it straight, maybe with a little cocoa stirred through. Healthy snack? Yum, raw biscuit dough!

Biscuits you make yourself will always be better for you and the world at large. You can control the sugar, you know for sure there are no additives and no things like palm oil. Just plain and simple.

Bath salt recipe

Making your own wonderful bath salts is the easiest thing ever. Done in minutes and truly economical. I have just added a couple to the bathroom at the Pip. They are Mandarin & Frankincense and Rosewood & Cinnamon.

We have a lovely shop here called Daylesford Aromatherapy. I get their shampoo and bodywash as well. I have my own blend for the Pip shower, Bergamot, Frankincense & Cedarwood. If you like it, you can go there and ask for the Sandra Broman blend, they keep a logbook of individual mixes. Or make up your own!

I thought it would be interesting to mention at this point what is so good about Epsom Salt, as opposed to other salt, but the lack of scientific evidence is such that I cannot make any startling claims here. I can say this however: Apparently, according to Internet sources, Victoria Beckham uses Epsom baths to help streamline her figure. Yup. Let’s just go with that. Whatever benefits Epsom may have (or not) it does give a slicker feel to the water. Salt in general is good to bathe in, even nurses recommend it. I once had a tricky wound and the nurses said ”Just throw a handful of plain salt in the bath every day.” Brilliant.

Being a bathroom, I am using plastic containers for safety. Not so attractive, but they live in a cupboard so I will just suffer through the hideousness of it. Glass breaks.

Ingredients:

Epsom Salt – some

Other salt – lots

Bicarb – some

Essential Oil (get quality ones, it really matters. It is going on your skin!) – a few drops only

No need to measure anything, it actually doesn’t matter. It is not like a cake which has to rise.

Here’s how:

Pour some Epsom Salts in a container, I mix straight into the container where they will be kept.

Add a few drops of essential oil, stir well.

Add salt of whatever kind you like. Stir more.

Add bicarb. Stir again. I don’t add any colouring or herbs, but you can. Looks pretty, but makes a mess.

That’s it. If you want ideas for combining oils, go to Daylesford Aromatherapy. Around the corner from Coles, two doors down from Pizzeria La Luna.