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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Recipe for the Nalen Gurr Cookies

The recipe

Here is how to make the cookies:
Makes about 50-60 cookies
You will need
350 g plain flour                                              200g Nalen gurr
Pinch of salt                                                       90g castor sugar
2 tsp baking powder                                        1 egg
2tsp ground ginger/dry ginger powder        Flour for dusting
100g butter                                                        Butter for trays, Baking parchment
60ml water                                                         Raisins, sultanas, candied peel

You can skip the salt if you are using salted butter.
Begin by melting the gurr which is a form of deep brown sugar, a concentrated product of date sap, without the separation of the molasses, on a very low flame with the water. When the gurr solid has completely melted let it simmer for about 3 minutes. After that take it off the heat and pour it on a plate and let it cool.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and ginger powder together into a bowl and rub in the butter softly, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles like crumbs. And then stir in the castor sugar, and then make a well in the center.
With a whisk first blend the egg, after that combine the liquid gurr with the egg until blended smoothly. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to a smooth dough. If you are beginning to doubt how you will roll this later on because the dough looks quite soft to roll and handle, well 2 hours in the refrigerator will settle that problem. Now cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/gas 4. Lightly butter the baking parchment and spread them on the baking tray. Divide the dough in half and start to roll out one portion at a time to a 5 mm thickness. For ease I rolled it by putting a cling film between the roller and the dough. While you are rolling out one portion place the other half of the dough back in refrigerator because as it will get soft, it will be tricky to cut the cookies out of it. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes of your choice, place on the parchment, leaving space between to allow room for spreading. While you are working if you feel the dough has gone quite soft and it becomes challenging to take the cut shapes out nicely place the dough back in the refrigerator for about 10 mins, so working quickly is a good idea. You can decorate them with raisins or sultanas or candied peel just the way you like it. Bake now in the center of the oven for 8-10 minutes or until farm and lightly brown, but still with some give if pressed lightly with a finger. If you can’t fit both trays on the same shelf, bake in 2 or 3 batches.
Leave the cookies now on the baking tray for a few minutes to firm up before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool off and then you can attack them.

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