Biscuits Anyone?

Last week my sister and I decided to make some biscuits, me, because the lovely Giorgio was finally returning to London and I was rather pleased, and Fran, because she is so lovely to all of the very lucky people who work alongside her at her studio.

We decided to make two kinds because one is never enough... and we decided to double the recipe because... well, we thought that one is never enough, but we might have got a bit carried away! So here come 140 biscuits,... 70 shortbread and 70 spicey ginger chocolate biscuits.

Ginger Chocolate Biscuits
Makes 50-70 biscuits

2⅓ cups all purpose flour
2-3 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon coco powder
½ teaspoon ground mace
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
scant ¼ teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
½ cup raw sugar
½ cup packed muscovado sugar
115g butter, softened but still cool
1 large egg
⅓ cup molasses
1 small strong espresso
1 fresh chilli with seeds removed (depending how hot you like things)
1 chunk of fresh ginger (2 thumbs worth depending how much you love ginger)

1.    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, set rack in middle of oven, and line baking tray or two with parchment paper.
2.    Make a shot of coffee and leave to cool.
3.    In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, dry spices, baking soda, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.
4.    Pour molasses, chilli and ginger root into a blender and whizz until its munched into a relatively smooth consistency.
5.     Using an electric mixer, beat ½ cup of the sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Add egg and beat well, about 20 seconds, then scrape down sides of bowl; add molasses mixture, mix well and scrape down sides of bowl again.
6.    Add the dry ingredients, then mix until just incorporated.  Do not over mix. It will be very soft. Refrigerate dough for about one hour, or until firm.
7.    Form the dough into small balls 1-inch balls.  Place balls on baking sheet about 2 inches apart (they will spread), then flatten slightly with your fingers. Bake for about 10-14 minutes, until set and golden on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. (As they bake, they will puff up and then flatten. Do not remove them from the oven until flat.) Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack with a wide spatula to cool completely.

These cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container.