This traditional sweet and spicy biscuit recipe is courtesy of the wonderful Mary Berry. Cornish Fairings are similar to a ginger biscuit or ginger snap, but have a lovely gentle spiced flavour and a distinctive crackled top.
A little bit of history: The word “fairing” refers to an edible souvenir once sold at fairs around England. Cornish Fairings grew in popularity when a baker from Truro, Cornwall started selling them in mail order catalogues in the late 1800s.
I have relatives in Cornwall, but don’t ever remember eating these as a child. (I do remember a LOT of pasties and saffron loaf however!).
Makes 24 fairly modest-sized biscuits.
- 100g plain flour
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground mixed spice
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 50g butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 75g golden syrup
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, ginger, mixed spice, cinnamon and baking soda. Rub in the butter until it resembles bread crumbs and then stir through the caster sugar.
- Warm up the golden syrup in the microwave for a few seconds (easier to work with when it’s warm). Stir it through the dry ingredients and mix to form a soft dough.
- Divide into 24 pieces, and roll each into a small ball (Mary describes these as the size of a cherry). Place onto two lined baking trays, leaving space for the biscuits to expand.
- Cook for 10 minutes then remove each tray and tap it firmly on the bench (this helps the biscuits to spread and crack!) Return the trays to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes until biscuits are a nice even golden colour.
- Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
- These will keep for several days in a sealed container, or also freeze well.
- I think I should have banged my trays a little harder here, as the tops can get more crinkled!
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