This is such a fantastic and pretty little biscuit that for me conjures up memories of after school treats and raiding the biscuit tin. It’s a little bit retro, a little bit pink and packed with spice, flavour and just a hint of liquorice salt. What’s more it just keeps on getting better with age.
This recipe is an adaptation from an old Women’s Weekly biscuit cookbook that I used to drool over on repeat as a teenager, with dreams of baking all the biscuits in there one day. In fact I loved to choose a biscuit to make from there as my down time after school. I’m so pleased to have again taken ownership of it in all it’s dog eared, grease spotted and page falling out glory.
For the biscuit dough:
60g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup honey
50g brown sugar
40g uncrystallised ginger (preserved)
230g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
finely grated zest of one organic orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon *Nordur liquorice salt flakes (or sea salt flakes)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
a pinch of white pepper, finely ground
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the icing:
250g icing sugar
1 egg white
2 teaspoons plain flour
juice of half a lemon, strained
1/4 teaspoon dried beetroot powder
Using a small food processor, blitz together the brown sugar and ginger until fine and well combined.
In a saucepan, place the butter, honey, sugar/ginger mix, vanilla and orange zest. Stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and everything is combined. Turn off the heat and keep stirring until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the milk and lemon juice.
Using a whisk, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until well mixed and combined. It should form a soft ball.
Wrap the dough in plastic film or place it in a covered bowl and chill for 2 hours to allow it to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Prepare two oven trays by greasing them lightly and covering them in baking paper.
Divide the dough into quarters and roll each quarter into a long sausage on a lightly floured surface. It should be about 2cm in diameter.
Cut each sausage into lengths of around 7 cm. Round off the edges using your fingers and arrange the biscuits on the trays allowing room for spreading.
Bake the biscuits for around 10 minutes or until they are just starting to colour and are rounded and risen. It’s worth standing by and checking on them to make sure they are not overdone, and adjusting the time accordingly.
Cool the baked biscuits on a rack.
To make the icing:
Sift together the icing sugar and the flour. Whisk the egg white lightly then add the icing sugar and enough lemon juice to make a thick but still runny icing. If it becomes too runny, add some more icing sugar. Halve the mixture, pouring it into two small bowls which are a little wider then the biscuits. Whisk in the beetroot powder in one half to create a natural pink icing.
Dunk each biscuit top down into the icing removing any extra from the top with a knife. Place them on a rack to set giving them a little tap to settle the icing.
Store the biscuits in a sealed container. The flavour intensifies over a few days if you can wait that long to eat them !
Please note that these honey jumbles have been perfectly complemented by some pretty bowls and wares supplied by Mason and Cash from their Innovative range. @masoncash_au