Everyone’s grandparents have a biscuit tin, right? When I were a lad (younger), we’d visit my grandparents’ house every Sunday morning at 11am sharp – just in time for tea. There, we’d sit down and fetch the biscuit tin and a glass of fruit juice. To be found inside the tin was a plethora of biscuits, the varieties of which changed from week to week. Ever present, however, would be a packet of fig rolls – fig newtons to you of an American persuasion – and, as such, they have always held a special place in my heart. Then again, perhaps it’s just that fig rolls have a rather wonderful flavour. Either way, here’s my recipe.
The Ginger Nut – or ginger snap – is a universally popular biscuit first produced in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century. One of the hardest biscuits on the market, Ginger Nuts are renowned for being superb “dunkers” capable of withstanding even the hottest of tea. However, not only are these wonderful biscuits hardy in texture, they also have an incredibly robust flavour. It’s hard to be left wanting when someone cracks the Ginger Nuts out.
As their name suggests, Florentines are an Italian “biscuit” that originally hail from Florence, Tuscany. In their most basic form they are essentially a group of nut and cherries set in caramel and coated on one side with dark chocolate. However, as with most concepts, there are a million-and-one variations on the classic (check out Wuthering Bites’ sterling recipe). As you can see, these are a little less fancy than her’s – mine are strictly flower free – though they remain mightily delicious. Though I must admit that the infamous Katherine should take full credit for these biscuits – she made them!
There are certain things in life that one considers to be truly delightful – they are different for us all. For me, a strong coffee coupled with a crunchy biscuit or flaky pastry, preferably of Italian extraction, is one such delight. However, since moving away from my favourite coffee shop in Aberystwyth, obtaining such a treat has proved a little trickier. Happily, almond biscotti, the traditional Italian biscuit, are jolly simple to make – so there are no excuses not to follow this frugal recipe!
If there’s one time of the year at which biscuits should be made and eaten in prodigious quantity, it is at Christmas. There’s something clean and joyful about a proper English biscuit that makes them a smidge more festive than, to give one example, a cookie. It’s far easier to pick out individual flavours in biscuits than in food that is excessively sugary – a cookie, for instance, is something of a devilish experience.
Not only are biscuits rather light on one’s stomach, they are also one of the more frugal bakes one can embark upon. Of course, this is largely due to the dearth of expensive superlatives, such as chocolate, that are often added to cookies or cake. Instead, biscuits are often left plain or flavoured with spices or citrus fruits – as is the case in this recipe. Indeed, if the spiciness of these biscuits doesn’t appeal to you, by all means leave them plain – they will still be thoroughly delicious. Though, of course, such a thing wouldn’t be entirely in the spirit of Christmas!
Hello! Nice to meet you; I'm Nick, frugal food enthusiast and curator of frugalfeeding, a food blog about eating good, well-sourced food as economically as possible. Cheap isn’t a word we use here.