My strongest memories of my Nanna are of her in the kitchen baking something. She was the kind of nanna who always had home-baked biscuits, scones, or cakes in the house, ready for any unexpected visitors. She never used a written recipe, nor did she own any electrical appliances other than a very well loved kettle – all the creaming of butter and sugar was done by hand with a wooden spoon (she had forearms of steel!). She was old-school.
Nanna would write down a recipe if anyone ever asked her for it though. In amongst some boxes of her old stuff that are still sitting in my father’s garage, we recently found her recipe for cinnamon snaps. I remember making these with her, the sultanas going chewy after being baked, and using all different shaped cookie cutters.
Here’s my version – just some slight changes/clarifications and also I figured out how long and how hot to bake them!
1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 cup sultanas or raisins
3 1/2 cups plain flour*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and golden syrup and beat well. Stir in the remaining ingredients to form a sticky dough. Turn out onto a well floured surface, roll out to about 5mm thick. Cut out biscuits, re-roll the remaining dough and cut again until you have used as much of the dough as you can. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-18 minutes, depending on how soft/crunchy you like your biscuits. Cool on a wire rack.
*I don’t know whether I lost count of the flour I was adding, but my dough ended up WAY too sticky so I had to add another 1/2 cup of flour. So I may have ended up using 4 cups of flour, or maybe just 3 1/2 because I undercounted to start with. Not sure.
This recipe makes a LOT of biscuits. I think there were at least 50 in the end for this batch, so they’re excellent if you have people coming over for morning/afternoon tea, or of you have to ‘bring a plate’ to some kind of gathering.