My absolute favourite cookbook right now is Sophie Hansen’s A Basket By the Door. If you haven’t picked up a copy of this gem, snag one immediately. Even if you never make these beautiful golden syrup biscuits, or the apple, fennel and pork sausage rolls or a batch of super-easy rosemary crackers, or indeed any of Sophie’s 140 recipes, you will still love this book.
It’s actually just a lovely book to read. Sophie writes about nourishing friends and family when the chips are down. “Nothing says ‘I love you, I’ve got you and I’m here’ better than a parcel of food you’ve taken the time to make, wrap and deliver,” she says.
It can sometimes be hard to know what to do when someone is going through a rough time. A Basket By the Door [affiliate link] is the solution. Create a homemade care package, and leave it by the front door. That way, your lovely person doesn’t even have to talk if they’re not feeling up to it.
Click to get a discounted copy of A Basket By the Door delivered by Booktopia.
So, in the spirit of Sophie’s beautiful book, I first made these golden syrup biscuits for a friend who had heard some bad news. She was shaken and needed space, but I wanted her to know that I was thinking of her. A jar of these golden syrup biscuits left on her verandah with a note did exactly that. A tiny bit of cheer in a grey old day.
It’s fair to say that since then I’ve made this recipe far more often than I ought to have. We just love the way these crisp biscuits give way to a stretchy kind of centre. That’s the golden syrup working it’s magic. Such an oldy-worldy kind of ingredient, I think.
Trust me, you will never regret buying that jar of syrup!
Another fine old-school recipe: Ginger biscuits
Golden syrup biscuits
Makes 30 biscuits
Takes 15 minutes
Bakes 15 minutes
200 gm unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 Tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Preheat fan-force oven to 180ºC and line two cookie trays with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then add to the butter mixture. Combine gently, then tip out the lot onto your work surface and bring together until just combined. Don’t over mix and keep things light.
Split the dough into six balls. Massage and squeeze each ball into a sausage shape and place on the baking trays. I made quite a thick sausage to end up with a square-ish bickie, but Sophie’s are longer and thinner for more of a bar-shaped biscuit.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before cutting into biscuits.
Wholemeal flour works fine, but the biscuits are a little more dense.
These keep in an airtight jar on the counter for a few days. They don’t last long.
Not suitable to freeze.
What’s your favourite ‘grandma’ biscuit?