It is not quite Christmas yet but it is time to start preparing all those little items you are going to need. It is already too late to make a Christmas cake; a good one needs to mature for a few months before it tastes just right. It's not too late to make mince pies and we'll have a go at them next week.
But this week it is brandy snaps. You can make them now, and if you actually put brandy in them, they will keep until Christmas - that is if you can keep the family away from them.
- One tablespoon each of: Flour, Treacle, Sugar and Butter
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- Drop of brandy (optional)
- Gently heat the treacle, sugar and butter in a saucepan until all have melted and you have a sticky sauce in the bottom of the pan
- Stir in the ginger and flour and remove from the heat
- Grease a large baking tray and, using a teaspoon, put well spaced drops of the sticky sauce onto the tray
- Bake at 350 degF for a few minutes. The sauce will bubble and form a lattice structure as it cooks
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little
- Remove the thin baked cookies from the tray (very carefully) using a metal spatula and roll them around a wooden spoon handle
Once you have mastered this recipe it takes only a few minutes from start to finish. I spent most of my evening getting this recipe just right and learned a few things I can offer as a helpful tip.
First, measure the ingredients! That sounds obvious, but I didn't do it the first time and used too much flour (and ended up with something resembling gingerbread).
Second, don't take the tray out of the oven too soon - let the sticky stuff bubble away for a few minutes to ensure the flour is fully cooked.
Finally, clean up your pans as soon as you are finished. Clean-up is easy when everything is still warm and sticky. It won't be so easy the next morning when the sticky stuff has hardened.