Bookish Bites : Burglar Bill ginger biscuits
The Ahlbergs are featuring quite heavily in Bookish Bites. Today is the turn of Burglar Bill (Puffin Books). Now, there are several tasty treats mentioned in this book, arrowroot biscuits, date and walnut cake with buttercream filling and icing on the top (coming soon), ginger biscuits and cocoa.
I tried reading Burglar Bill to Milo a while back but he wasn’t quite ready for its length. He is now but has to be in the right mood to want to sit still long enough for the whole book. I LOVE reading Burglar Bill probably over all the Ahlberg books we have in this house. It’s a bit of a different experience to titles like Peepo and Each Peach Pear Plum. The wonderful way the language is written just lends itself to a strong, fast, cockney accent and a warm dialogue between the two main characters, Burglar Bill and Burglar Betty. It’s brilliant to read aloud and the foody descriptions don’t disappoint.
Opposite this lovely spread is this:
“Burglar Bill makes a jug of cocoa and opens a packet of ginger biscuits. The two burglars sit round the kitchen table.”
Sounds lovely doesn’t it? And later…
“He offers the biscuits to Burglar Betty. She takes one and dips it in her cocoa.”
Well, ginger biscuits and warming cocoa I say. Oh yes! Let’s begin. We used a basic ginger cookie recipe, opting for a chunkier, more dunkable biscuit. I like mine to be full of spicy flavour so we added cinnamon and cloves to the dry mix, and for a fuller, flavour include a couple of tablespoons of black treacle and a squeeze of lemon.
First, sift the flour (approx. 375g), baking powder (1.5 teaspoons), ginger (1.5 teaspoons), cinnamon (0.5 teaspoon) and ground cloves (1/4 teaspoon).
Separately, cream 110g of butter and 225g of sugar and stir in one beaten egg and a couple of tablespoons of black treacle and asqueeze of lemon juice. Add your dry mix and thoroughly stir to make into a soft dough.
Shape the dough into balls, roll them in a little sugar and place them on baking trays. With a toddler, this can get a little messy.
Milo tried to tidy up though which was a lovely effort. His hands however…
And then, his best Thriller impression.
Bake your biscuits at 180 for about 10 – 12 minutes until they are firm to touch.
Then to the cocoa. We used a recipe from The Moomins Cookbook. There’s nothing particularly special about this recipe, but I do love this cookbook. Simple Finnish recipes and some more unusual ones, but all hearty and wholesome. The cocoa recipe calls for whole milk mixed with cocoa powder and a little water. Whole milk people, none of this healthy making it with just water business. Gosh, why would you when there is whole milk in the world.
An incredibly pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Milo’s verdict: “Eating ginger biscuits like Burglar Bill. I like cocoa.”