No matter what I say from here on out, I assure you these biscuits are, in fact, cookies. Purely a matter of semantics. I may suggest they are virtuously cluttered with oats. Or contain enough ginger to pass as a digestive aid.
A certain chef I know likened them to granola bars. And he has eaten several under this premise. The British have termed such things biscuits. I do not have data on their intake. But based on the information that follows, I suspect they consume their bloody share.
They resemble an oversized, chewy ginger snap with pliable bits of softened ginger root. The oats stand their ground supported by brown sugar and butter and take a crescent-shaped dip in dark chocolate.
The original recipe came to me accidentally. I had seen a riff on the famed Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage digestives made gingery and chocolatey by the cookery writer himself. But somehow, somewhere signals got crossed and I wound up with Chocolate and Ginger Oat Biscuits from the BBC instead of Gingery, Chocolatey Oat Biscuits from The Guardian.
No matter. The oat-ginger-chocolate combination is winning. This recipe also contains that buttery Lyle's golden syrup that the Brits love so much. It relies on a suspicious amount of ginger, as well, both powdered and fresh. The root itself becomes nearly caramelized by sheer proximity to sugar and provides a nice counterpoint to the slight bitterness of the moon-shaped dark chocolate edges.
What does matter, however unfortunately, is that both British recipes use weight measurements instead of volume. Which I did not realize until this precise moment.
I’ll just stick to calling them oat biscuits. Because it makes me feel better about eating them for breakfast. And because, as Fearnley-Whittingstall says, “breakfast should be just the beginning of your oat experience.”
Dark Chocolate Crescent Ginger Oat Biscuits
225g (8 ounces) unsalted butter
100g (3½ ounces) golden syrup
200g (7 ounces) dark brown sugar
150g (3½ ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
400g (14 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
2 eggs, lightly beaten
40g (1½ ounces) peeled ginger, minced (the ginger root will be about the length of 1½ thumbs)
85g (3 ounces) dark chocolate (I used 55% dark chocolate from Taza), roughly chopped
Set the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, syrup, and brown sugar over medium-low heat until well combined, stirring occasionally; set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and spices; add in the salt and oats and stir to combine. Pour in the melted butter mixture; add in the eggs and ginger and stir everything together with a rubber spatula until fully combined.
Scoop the mixture into semi-composed heaps about 2 to 2½ inches in diameter. You should be able to fit 9 per sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, until the cookies have spread, are firm to the touch, and the centers are no longer liquidy.
Allow to cool long enough so they can be transferred to a wire rack. Once they have cooled completely, pour a little water into the bottom of a saucepan and place a heat-proof bowl above it (the bowl should not be touching the water). Place the chocolate in the bowl and stir occasionally, until the chocolate has fully melted.
Dip the cookies into the warmed chocolate just enough to create a crescent shape spanning roughly one-third of the edge of each cookie, working quickly so the bowl of chocolate does not cool (and then start to thicken).
Place the cookies back on the wire rack until the chocolate has set. (To speed up this process, I placed the cookies in the fridge.) Store at room temperature for up to two days or for a number of weeks in the freezer.
Makes 18 cookies
-The chocolate was taking a very long time to harden, so I placed the cookies in the fridge to speed up the process. I’m sure a proper tempering would create a very lovely, shiny chocolate but I don’t think it’s necessary.
-For better or worse, these can pretty much be eaten straight out of the freezer.
-If you can get your hands on the spiked eggnog flavor from Taza, it’s quite the chocolate pairing for these cookies.