Sunday 10 November 2013

Ginger Snaps with Crystallised Ginger

Have I mentioned that my mother sent me a whole KILO of crystallized ginger?

Well she did.

In case you didn't know, that is a lot of ginger.  The only other time I've considered having this much ginger in my house was when I was pregnant and could only stomach plain white bread and ginger products.  Oh, first trimester, I miss you not.

But back to my mother.  She sent me a link to a recipe for ginger snaps studded with crystallized ginger so I thought I'd give it a go. I took the idea, that is, but used as the base recipe my Joy of Cooking recipe for ginger snaps that I knew could produce some pretty tasty cookies, having made these autumn beauties in years past.

The weather is perfect for these just now - crisp, cold fall days with whispers of winter in the wind that gush through the gaps of our Victorian tenement's exterior.  My tea consumption has been steadily climbing, much to the delight of the fellow who runs Anteaques who chirped "see you soon!" as I departed today with my two large bags of tea.  And these cookies are perfect with tea...or coffee...or, if you want to be North American, spiced apple cider. Anyone in Shaker remember that house on Scottsdale that would serve up hot cider and ginger snaps on Halloween every year?  Even fear of concealed razor blades couldn't keep us from enjoying their offerings.

So in one bowl went flour, lots of ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

And in another bowl went butter and sugar.  As you'll know, the other day I made pumpkin snickerdoodles. You didn't know that? What do you mean you don't check my cooking blog every day?!!!?!


Well, anyway, I did, and I rolled them in a spicy sugar mix.  I had a lot of it left over and I hate wasting anything in the kitchen, so I just put the leftover sugar mix in these with plain caster sugar too.  I made sure to give myself a smug pat on the head, too.

I mixed it together...

Then put in eggs and uh...well, the recipe said molasses OR dark OR golden syrup, so I used the remains of some treacle I had and some golden syrup.  Some lemon juice and zest went in too.

I put my sous-chef to work mixing it together

Then I took some of the flour mix and put it in with the ginger chunks to stop it all from sticking when I pulverized it.

It seemed to work.

Catherine did a good job mixing everything in the big bowl.  She's always liked stirring things...

So I put in the flour mix too and asked her to keep mixing it up.

Getting there...

Looking good.  you can see the occasional stud of ginger if you look closely.

Then we rolled up balls and put them on baking trays.  Don't worry, I made sure Catherine washed her hands and did not pick her nose until after she left the kitchen.  I didn't realize until the first batch came out that I was supposed to press them down a bit before they went in.  Oops.  They still tasted good, even if they were a bit lumpy in appearance.

I like them chewy, so I pull mine out promptly after 10 minutes.  Michael thought they weren't done yet when he glanced at them, but he was wrong.

Hooray for quality control.

And for sunny baking days.

All happy together to go to St Columba's...minus a few samples.

Ginger Snaps - adapted from Joy of Cooking

    3 3/4 cups flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    .5 tsp baking soda
    4 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    .25 tsp ground cloves
    .25 tsp salt
    12 tbsp butter
    1 2/3 c sugar
    2 large eggs 
    1/2 c dark molasses (or a general mix of treacle and golden sryup)
    2 tsp lemon juice
    1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
    good sized handful of crystallised ginger


Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.  

Place about a half cup of flour mix in processor with the crystallised ginger and pulse until you have small pieces.  Alternatively, chop by hand and add back to flour mix.

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, molasses (or golden syrup & treacle mix), lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until well combined.  Add flour mix and stir until well combined.

Pinch off generous tablespoons of the mix and roll into even balls.  Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets and press down lightly to flatten.

bake 10 to 13 minutes at 350 (underbake slightly for chewy cookies or longer for crispy snaps)

makes 6 to 6.5 dozen cookies

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