This recipe is based on my peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, they really are simple to make and taste very good. The ginger chunks add a nice dimension and they are based on my memories of M&S extremely chocolatey biscuits. You just need a food mixer, a hand held one is fine, and the ingredients are really straightforward.
Start off by lining a few baking trays with baking parchment – you will need 2 large or 3 small baking trays.
Set the oven to 190 deg C.
180g plain flour
half a teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of salt
150g butter or dairy free spread e.g. Nuttelex
60g soft brown sugar (you can also use caster but brown sugar adds gooeyness)
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 large egg
125g of chopped crystallised ginger (or the uncrystallised naked ginger works well) I use Buderim ginger, but please don’t use raw ginger – it’s not the same!
Optional: you can also include a handful of chocolate chips to the dry mix and a scoop of Nutella or peanut butter to the wet mix if you want an extra richness
For the coating – approx 200g chocolate of your choice – I like dark 70-80% cocoa
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl – flour, baking soda and salt. Add the ginger chunks (and choc chips if using them). Stir well.
2. Beat the sugar and butter together using the food mixer. If including a scoop of peanut butter or Nutella, wait until it is nicely combined and fluffy then add the Nutella/peanut butter and whisk again.
3. Now beat in the egg and vanilla, it may curdle a little but don’t worry the flour will sort that out.
4. Now mix in the dry ingredients and beat again – the dough should stiffen up quite a bit and you may need to add a little water to soften it, but don’t add too much because it needs to hold together on the baking tray. It should be a kind of plasticine consistency so that you can shape it into balls.
5. Now take a dessert spoon of mixture and roll it into a ball. If it sticks to your hands, just wet your hands a little. Put all of the balls on the baking trays to make sure that they are roughly equal in size, then press them either with fingers or the base of a glass, squashing them into round biscuit shapes. Keep a few centimetres distance between each biscuit because they will spread out. You should get around 12-14 cookies.
6. Bake for approx 12-15 minutes until they are slightly golden and still a little soft in the middle.
7. Once they are cool, melt the chocolate over a double boiler (or in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water – if you do this the bowl must fit tightly and not touch the water).
8. Either pour some of the melted chocolate over the biscuits or dip them half into the molten chocolate, then place on baking parchment to set. Put them in the fridge to speed up the setting. Don’t forget to taste one just to check they are ready.