Friday, August 19, 2011

Old honey isn't a writeoff

I happened to find some honey sitting in the back of my cupboard; a sad centimetre or two crystallising in the bottom of a jar. What use is grainy, sugary honey? It might not be too good spread on toast, but it's perfect for making honey snaps (p41).

The reason the graininess of the honey doesn't matter is that it gets melted, together with some butter and sugar. In a few short minutes you have a smooth, sweet-smelling golden mixture, with no sign of that sugary texture.

To this mixture you simply sift in some flour, baking powder and ginger, and mix to a lovely soft dough. The dough spreads out a lot in cooking, so it only takes one teaspoon of mixture to make each biscuit - with plenty of room left between to allow for spreading. I suppose my teaspoonfuls must have been slightly more heaped than the recipe intends, since it's supposed to make 20 biscuits, and I barely got 12.

After only ten minutes in the oven, the biscuits had spread out and gone golden around the edges. In fact, some of them were a bit too dark - I'll have to watch out for that next time.

From those few sad spoonfuls of grainy honey, I created a lovely batch of honey snaps: sweet and crisp (except when they're still a little warm, and have a delectable chewiness to the centre) and very tasty. It's an incredibly easy recipe that takes less than half an hour from start to finish. Got some old honey in the cupboard? Go on, give it a go!

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