These biscuits are robust in every way, easy to make and satisfyingly solid. It may seem odd to use coriander in sweet biscuits, but it gives real warmth to the flavour. Black treacle is such a dominant taste that you may prefer to replace most of it with golden syrup.

This recipe was originally published between 1859 and 1861 in the monthly supplement to The English Woman’s Domestic Magazine. The articles were later published as a book that became a classic guide to running a Victorian house and included over 900 recipes, The Book of Household Management.


Makes 130 biscuits

Flour: 2¾lb/1.2kg

Sugar: 1lb/450g

Ground ginger: 1½oz/45g

Ground allspice: 1½oz/45g

Ground coriander: 1½oz/45g

Treacle: 1¾lb/780g

Butter: 1lb/450g


1. Mix the spices, flour and sugar together.

2. Warm the treacle and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted.

3. Pour the melted butter and treacle into the flour mixture and mix thoroughly. It will form a dough quickly.

4. Shape the dough into walnut-sized pieces. Place on a greased baking tray. Either leave round for ginger nuts or squash them flat for a biscuit shape.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180?C. n