Tuesday, October 28, 2008

brandy snaps

brandy snaps are one of those things which have always posed a mystery to me because whilst they are called brandy snaps, they don't have any brandy in them. why are they called brandy snaps? because you chomp on them whilst having a brandy? because they are brandy coloured? because someone called brandy dreamed them up one day (or night)? (my english teacher would be having a fit right now - you don't start sentences with because!!!! and where's the punctuation???) if anyone knows the true story, enlighten me now!!!

that said, i always thought brandy snaps were supposed to be difficult to make because the first time i came across a recipe for them was in a margaret fulton cookbook and she put three dots against the recipe. she had this way of grading recipes whereby she would put dots next to her recipes to indicate the level of difficulty, and three dots was the most difficult. well, brandy snaps are not difficult at all, so banish all thoughts of difficulty out of your head and just make them. if anything, they make anything look special, so if anyone eating them wants to think they're difficult, go ahead and let them think just that. but between us, we know that is just not so.

even the recipe quantities are so easy - equal quantities of melted butter, golden syrup, sugar and flour are mixed together with a teaspoon of ground ginger added for every 1/2 cup of flour. if you need measurements, here they are:

125 grams butter, melted
1/2 cup golden syrup, eyeball this if you're like me
1/2 sup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger

preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

mix this all together and place teaspoonfuls (or tablespoonfuls, if you want larger brandy snaps) of the batter onto baking sheet lined with baking paper. don't try to fit too many rounds of batter on each baking sheet or the resulting snaps will run into each other because they will spread as they bake.

bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden. remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool for a few moments. this will allow the snaps to set a little so you can lift them up with a knife or spatula; quickly either wrap the snap around a tube or handle of a wooden spoon to form them into tubes. alternatively, drape them over an upturned bowl so as to form brandy snap baskets. should the snaps become firm before shaping, just pop them back into the oven for a few moments to soften so you can shape them as you like.

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