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South African Recipes

Cookies and Biscuits

Recipes on this page:  Beery Ginger Cookies, Chocolate Fudge cookies, Cinnamon Cookies,Star Anise Snaps and Almond biscuits,

Beery ginger cookies 

180 g butter or margarine 
190 ml molasses 
250 ml soft brown sugar 
5 ml bicarbonate of soda 
10 ml ground ginger 
3 ml ground cinnamon 
3 ml salt 
480 g cake flour, sifted 
125 ml (0.5 c) heated beer, stirred to remove gas 
65 ml chopped pecan nuts 

Preheat the oven to 190 ºC. Beat the butter, molasses, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together. Sift the ginger, cinnamon, salt and cake flour together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the beer, and mix to form a dough that is easy to roll out. Add more flour if needed. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until about 3 mm thick. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and place on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with chopped nuts and bake for about 8-10 minutes until pale brown. Coot slightly on the baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers. Makes 120 cookies. 

Chocolate fudge cookies 
500 ml cake flour 
30 ml cocoa 
10 ml baking powder 
500 ml oats 
500 ml coconut 
250 ml sugar 
350 g margarine, melted 
500 ml icing sugar 
10 ml cocoa 
10 ml margarine, melted 
50 ml hot water 

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Spray a 30 x 23 cm ovenproof dish with nonstick spray. Sift together the cake flour, cocoa and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the oats, coconut and sugar and mix. Add the melted margarine and mix until the dry ingredients are well moistened. Press the mixture into the prepared dish, spreading it evenly. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through and slightly crisp. 
Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa. Add the margarine and hot water and mix to form a stiff paste. Spread over the cake while still hot, then leave

Cinnamon cookies 

250 g butter 
85 ml castor sugar 
250 ml cornflour 
400 ml cake flour 
7 ml cinnamon 
45 ml icing sugar 
5 ml cinnamon 

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Cream the butter until light and fluffy and add small quantities of the castor sugar at a time while beating continuously. Sift together the cornflour, cake flour and cinnamon and add to the butter mixture. Work together with your hands until a stiff dough is formed. Roll into walnut sized balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done and straw coloured. Cool and store in airtight containers. Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon just before serving.
Serve with coffee. Makes 40 cookies.

Star Anise Snaps


120 g unsalted butter
225 g caster sugar
120 ml golden syrup
120 g plain flour
a good pinch of ground star anise


Cream the butter and sugar together by hand or in a mixer, until they are light and fluffy. Heat the syrup gently until just warm enough to be in a more liquid state. This allows it to mix in better with the other ingredients. Slowly add to the butter and sugar mixture. Obviously if it is too warm it will cause the butter to melt and this should be avoided. Slowly work in the flour and ginger, if using, and then place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Grease a baking sheet.
When ready to bake, pat out spoonfuls of the batter, using damp fingers, to about 3cm in diameter and place on teh prepared baking sheet, leaving lots of room between to allow for spreading. Don't try to cook more than a few at a time because after they are cooked and cooled slightly, they will only stay malleable for seconds.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 3 - 5 minutes until they have spread, gone lacy and turned a deep golden brown. Remove the oven and do not touch for about 1 minute. They need this time to set. Using a palette knife, lift and quickly shape each biscuit as needed. The inside of a bowl gives a lovely shape to serve ice-cream scoops in. Wrap around a wooden or metal cylinder to get a cannoli shape, or into a horn shape by holding one edge tightly on the end of a sharpening steel and letting the other edge van out. If the biscuits harden before you have shaped them, just return to the oven for a few seconds and they will again soften.
These biscuits will stay crisp and fresh for a couple of days if stored in an airtight container.

Makes 24.

Almond Biscuits

250g butter or margarine

½ cup icing sugar, sifted

½ cup cornflour

¼ tsp salt

1¾ cup flour

jam as needed (apricot or strawberry)

1½ cups ground almonds

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup castor sugar

½ tsp essence of choice (almond or vanilla)

Preheat oven to 180°C

Cream together the butter and icing sugar

Sift in the cornflour, salt and flour

Mix into a dough (do not overknead)

Press the mixture into a Swiss roll tin (24cm x 30cm)

Bake for 10 minutes

Remove from oven, brush with jam to cover the surface evenly

Combine almonds, eggs, sugar and essence

Spread the mixture over jam and bake again for 12-15 minutes

Cool in tin. Cut into bars