I have written about the love for my nanny on a number of occasions, and most of you will also know I lost her in april and I miss her dearly. Nanny wright was my great grandmother, a curious woman and although I didn’t know her for long – as she died when I was a small boy – she left a lasting impression on me. Myself and Nanny would often trot down to her bungalow to be greeted with pleasant smiles, a blazing electric fire – despite it being the height of summer – and a 20p piece crossing my palm, which in those days just about got you a milkyway bar. Before my Nanny passed away she gave me her mum’s little recipe book, a little black book crammed with thrifty recipes, old English puds, wine making and preserving. It has become my most treasured possession. I have poured over the book many times but have never made anything from it, until now. I liked the sound of these little biscuits so I dug out my old school – but brilliant – beige mixing bowl and decided to pay homage to her. They weren’t what I expected at all, I thought they would be quite hard and dense, but actually they were quite soft and crumbly, a bit like a christmassy hobnob, a little sweet but with a nice ginger kick. It did feel a little strange and a little emotional making them, knowing that she would have made this exact recipe, knowing that my nanny probably peered tip toed at the kitchen surface watching her mum make them, pestering her to lick the spoon. I know you probably won’t view these little biscuits in the same way I do, to me this is stepping into my great nanny’s shoes and re-creating something that fed a generation, was created out of thrift and hardship, and served to stem the sweet cravings of my nanny, and probably her friends too.
Makes around 11 biscuits
- 60g porridge oats
- 60g plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 2 dessert spoons honey plus extra for brushing
- 45g unsalted butter
- 1 dessert spoon soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp mixed spice
- Dessicated coconut
1. Take the flour, oats, mixed spice, baking powder and ginger and mix in a large mixing bowl. Then pre heat your oven to gas mark 5 (190°C/375°F).
2. Gently melt the butter, honey and sugar in a pan until just melted, don’t boil. Leave to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, mix with the dry ingredients until fully combined.
3. Take the mixture and form into equal sized balls and place on a baking tray with plenty of room apart. Press the patties down to make them flat. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes until golden.
4. While the biscuits are warm brush one side with some honey and dip in the dessicated coconut. leave the biscuits to cool completely before eating.