Tell me… Who would be so stupid as to make a very large batch of biscuit dough (one they haven’t made before and, therefore, don’t know what it is going to taste like) one evening and then next morning spend two hours pressing the dough into a rag doll mould and then continue moulding the dough that evening (there was a lot of dough and it was bloody boring) and then put the biscuits in the fridge until the next morning so they keep their impression and then bake them and then, when they were cold, TRY to ice faces onto them?
I am… but never again.
I should have known it would take forever when I saw that the recipe called for 5 cups of flour. I even said to Maus, ‘That is a lot of flour.’ It sure was; we ended up with 50 rag doll gingerbread biscuits.
Now, if you are silly and decide to make this recipe, please note it calls for 1 cup of molasses (Brer Rabbit, mild) – I have absolutely no idea what that is. I had some Colonial Farms Refinery Molasses in the cupboard so I used that but it is overpowering. You can’t even taste the spices. If you have access to Golden Syrup, I would replace the molasses with it. I certainly will next time…
OMG, is there going to be a next time?
Maus likes the biscuits as they are. I found the molasses too strong. If you are in the States then you probably know what Brer Rabbit mild molasses is. If it is in fact mild, go ahead and use it, otherwise, consider a substitute. I don’t know if you have Golden Syrup in the States.
The recipe is from a little booklet I received when I bought my moulds from Gene Wilson (cookiemold.com).
- 1 cup molasses (Brer Rabbit, mild) or Golden Syrup
- 1 cup margarine (250g). For some reason, Gene recommends using margarine rather than butter when moulding biscuits. I used butter the first time I made Speculaas and they didn’t hold their shape very well so this time I stuck with Gene’s advice to use margarine.
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 5 cups plain flour
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Heat the molasses in a large saucepan.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the margarine and brown sugar.
- Sift the flour, ginger and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.
- Slowly add most of the dry ingredients to the molasses mixture.
- Lightly beat the egg and vanilla together then slowly add to the mixture.
- Add the remaining flour.
- Mix well.
- Cover dough, put in fridge for, at least, 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
- Shape the biscuits. See my Speculaas post for my hints on the best way to do this.
- Put the biscuits on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
- 1 cup of icing sugar
- 1 egg white
- Beat the egg white until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add icing sugar, a little at a time.
- Beat until stiff.
- Add food colour, if desired.
- Ice facial features and any other features you like. (This is easier said than done.)
Oh ten out ten for effort Glenda – hehe! They’ve held their shape well and they look terrific. Appreciate your honesty about the pitfalls. If only recipe mags and books were as honest!
Hi Mariana. You are right, they never tell you the down side. Sometimes I don’t think the recipes have even been tried.
Ok, a labour of love then, right? 😉 They do look very cute though, and they DID keep their shape! I felt the same way when I was making the kaak – the recipe started with 1 kg of flour! 🙂
Never again. Which is a pity, as the mould is so cute.
Refinery Molasses? Are you really sure that’s food grade stuff? Sounds a little like something they tried to make into motor fuel, but it didn’t quite make the grade. Ha. Over here, there are three basic types of molasses: sulfured (1st pressing) – also called ‘light’; unsulfured (2nd pressing – also called ‘dark’); and blackstrap (also called ‘full flavored’). I’d bet the Refinery Molasses is like our blackstrap. I have had Golden Syrup when I’ve been in the UK, and it, like molasses, is a by-product of sugar refining – but we have nothing that approximates it here, since our light molasses is darker and flavored differently than G S – probably the closest to it is something called Karo dark syrup, but that is a corn syrup product. However, with a little searching, Lyle’s G.S. can be found hereabouts.
I don’t care for the molded biscuits/cookies, because I’ve never found one that really tasted good. I think the recipes geared to making a dough that is to be molded emphasize creating a dough that’s easy to work with, rather than one that tastes good.
It sure sounds like your blackstrap. It was pretty dark. Molasses is not very common here, Golden Syrup is used much more frequently in baking. I think we have molasses or molasses or molasses.
I have decided I am not suited to making moulded biscuits. I got bored after the second or third one and I don’t appear to have any icing skills.
When I was a kid we would take a stick of butter, cut off a chunk, pour cold molasses over it and chop up the cold butter with our fork. Then we would wipe the mixture with our fork onto the side of one of Mom’s homemade hot-from-the-oven biscuits. I still love this today but rarely buy molasses because I don’t eat it or bake with it often enough to justify the cost. Brer Rabbit is a character in one of the Deep South’s Uncle Remus stories. He is a cunning little Rabbit that tricks another character into setting him free from the grips of the “tar baby” the character made to capture him with in the first place. If you’re interested in a short version of the story you can copy and paste the following address into your address bar to read it for yourself:
The Brer Rabbit brand is part of the Grandma’s Molasses brand. The mild form is created by the 3rd boiling of the sugar cane so it is milder and better suited for desserts. There are several types of molasses from blackstrap (the strongest) to the milder,more syrup-like versions. Thanks for inspiring a memory. Glenda
Hi Glenda, thanks for the link. I will check it out. I think what I used was more like blackstrap:( Maybe your mild molasses is like our Golden Syrup.
Hee hee! they are very cute though.
Thanks Sue – what a pain