Sparkle Kitchen
sparkle kitchen: ship's biscuits

sparkle kitchen: ship's biscuits

In this week’s At Home with Martin & Sylvia story "Many Hands", the brother and sister learn to sail! There are so many different new words and actions to learn, and so much fun to be had. When they work together to complete their first “coming about” — a celebration follows!

“Shall we celebrate your first coming-about with a snack?” asked Mrs. Weber, climbing down from the foredeck, “We’ve got ship’s biscuits and jam.”

“Yum!” said all four children at once as Momma handed out the hard biscuits of oats and coconut with apricot jam piled on top.

“Ship’s biscuits” are historically a type of cracker made of simple, inexpensive ingredients — for example, flour, salt and water. These plain and long-lasting biscuits were important during sea voyages, military campaigns, and other long and challenging journeys that folks took long-ago. You can read more about the fascinating history right here.

Our version is hardly hard, and it’s hardly plain. It’s buttery, soft and DELICIOUS. We discovered this recipe on the Australian website — we simply converted it to “cups” from grams, and made it gluten-free!

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Ships Biscuits


1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1 1/4 cup all purpose gluten-free flour

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3/4 cup sugar

8 Tbl (1/2 cup) butter

2 Tbl honey

2 Tbl water

1 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat the oven to 365°F. In a large mixing bowl, mix the oats, flour, coconut, and sugar.

Melt the butter, honey and water in a saucepan over low heat. When the butter mixture is melted, quickly mix in the baking soda. (Watch out! The mixture will expand. Be sure you’re working in a pot that’s large enough.)

Add the melted butter mix to the dry ingredients — mixing quickly and completely.

Place spoonfuls of the dough onto baking sheets. Be sure to space them so there’s room for the cookies to expand. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes (as the gluten-free version can be a bit fragile) and then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Delicious foodstuffs for able-seamen of all ages! (Land-lubbers too.)

--- Download the recipe HERE

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About the Author

Lisabeth Sewell

Doer of Many Wonderful and Odd Things (including CEO)

Lisabeth Sewell has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO.

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