Jumble single

At Christmas time, I must confess I do enjoy rich, dark, gingerbread-y biscuits, cakes, puddings.  Actually, I am a fan all year round, but the holiday season somehow provides an excuse to indulge more than normal.

I was recently flicking through my one and only Bill Granger cookbook for some dinner inspiration.  Interestingly, I managed to find myself pursuing the sweets, desserts and cakes instead of some more savoury fare!  Strange

I happened upon Bill’s recipe for ‘Jumbles’.  As a kid, I adored Honey Jumbles.  What kid would not like sweetly iced pillow-y soft spiced cookies?  And when those cookies come in two colours (white and pink), it always meant having one of each.  Right?

Given my recent (and perhaps foolish!) entry into the upcoming Royal Show here in Brisbane, I have been noticing how many plain delicious good old-fashioned classics are around.  These looked like a must to bake.

In fact, making this recipe was a bit spur of the moment.  When I say spur, I mean not even checking I had the ingredients on hand.  Highly unusual for me.  I do have most things in the pantry, so I was probably feeling a little confident.  In this case, however, I had to make one substitution.  Treacle instead of golden syrup.    I happily use treacle as a substitute for unsulphured molasses but did wonder if I should be extending that to golden syrup.  Golden syrup is much more delicate, let alone much lighter in colour.  In the end, the biscuits still had a lovely taste, packed full of spice.  But they certainly did brown quickly.  (Ooops!)

They are actually really easy to make.  They are egg free and only use the smallest amounts of butter.  I think they are adorable with the bright coloured icing.  Perfect for little sweet yums at a kid’s party?  Right next to the fairy bread!

Jumble double

{ Treacle Jumbles }
Adapted from Bill Granger

* Ingredients *

85g butter, melted
3/4 cup treacle
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons milk
2 to 3 tablespoons plain flour, extra
1 eggwhite
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
1 to 2 drops red food colouring

* Directions *

Bring butter and treacle to the boil in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stand for 15 minutes to cool. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices over butter mixture. Gently stir in milk. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 4 baking trays with baking paper. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead, working in a little flour, until mixture is no longer sticky. Divide mixture into 4 portions. Roll each into a long, 1.5cm-wide sausage shape. Cut each ‘sausage’ into 6cm lengths. Place biscuits onto trays. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until biscuits begin to crack on surface. Whisk eggwhite in a bowl. Add icing sugar, stirring until smooth. Add red food colouring to half the icing. Spread pink icing over half the biscuits and white over the other half. Allow to set. Serve.

Makes 48.