Skibo Castle Ginger Crunch

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I’ve been lured into a recipe once again because of its intriguing name. This one jumped out at me from a book – the Gourmet Cookie Book: Single Best Recipe from Each Year: 1941-2009, which I ordered last year and which arrived the week after Christmas, and so I never did look at it, and then grabbed it on the way out the door to flip through on my lap last weekend during a leisurely drive to Banff. My mission: to choose a few cookies to make for our upcoming bake sale and cookie exchanges. Yes! I’m going to have one – sorry to leave you hanging. I have deets.

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I narrowed it down to a few, from this particular book at least. I made some Nutella brownies that are different, texture-wise, from every brownie I think I’ve ever made. In a good way. I added toasted, roughly chopped hazelnuts and dried cherries – the real kind, not the maraschino kind.

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And although I brought both to the same place, thinking that the brownies would be the hands-down winner, everyone went a little nutso for these crisp, buttery ginger cookies, made with good powdered ginger that gave them a sort of pepperiness you wouldn’t get from fresh.

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It’s Scottish; a thin, cooked-till-golden layer of shortbread (made with ginger), topped with a layer of melted butter, icing sugar and Lyle’s (or Rogers’) Golden Syrup (made with ginger), but is so much more than shortbread topped with icing. Über simple, totally inexpensive, makes lots. They kind of break into shards, but it’s kind of endearing, so you don’t really have to worry about them breaking. They’re totally unassuming – not fancy at all – but totally yummy. Everyone made a point of commenting about these. Especially the guys. They’re not greatgrandmotherly at all.

I’ll make a batch this weekend, for our cookie exchange! And most likely something else, too. So here’s the plan: want to come? comment here (or if you did last time, that works too) and I’ll email you. Don’t sweat the numbers – the most casual way to do a cookie exchange without assigning X-dozen cookies to each attendee is to just say: bring what you like, and take home as many as you brought. That way the math always works.

The Cookie Party of All Cookie Parties is next weekend, Saturday December 10, at 2pm. There will be wine! There will be nog! There will be cookies! There may even be a tree! Hope you can come!

Skibo Castle Ginger Crunch

from Gourmet, December 1999

Shortbread base:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

Topping:
1/3 cup butter
1 Tbsp. Lyle’s or Roger’s Golden Syrup (British cane sugar syrup)
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 9×13″ metal baking pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger and salt and blend in the butter, working it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan (it will be thin) and bake until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

Just before the shortbread is done, melt the butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the golden syrup, icing sugar, ginger and vanilla. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 seconds.

Remove shortbread from oven and pour topping over, tilting pan and using a spatula to cover it evenly. Cool in the pan, then cut into small rectangles or break into shards.

Makes about 64 pieces.

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December 02 2011 09:52 pm | cookies & squares

41 Responses to “Skibo Castle Ginger Crunch”

  1. Laurie from Burnaby on 02 Dec 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Oh, yum yum yum! Ginger shortbread with a golden syrup icing! How wonderful! I’m totally making these! D)

  2. Laurie from Burnaby on 02 Dec 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    That’s supposed to be a big grin :)

  3. Tannis on 03 Dec 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Hey Julie,
    I am keen to come to the cookie exchange! Your other events looked like so much fun I was kicking myself for not attending. Thanks for being you, you are truly awesome!
    Tannis :)

  4. Jessie on 03 Dec 2011 at 2:17 am #

    Julie!!! I’m in and will bring Oatmeal choco chip/toffee bits cookies!!!

  5. Helene on 03 Dec 2011 at 6:45 am #

    That is such a different name for a dessert recipe. I wonder if I decorate them with cranberries for the Holidays and that would still be good.

  6. CanadyAnna on 03 Dec 2011 at 7:36 am #

    OK, I’m girding my loins & hoping I can pull off: to town for dog visit at hospital – home to get cookies and back to town for cookie exchange – back home to collect spousal unit and then back to town AGAIN for the Rennaissance Concert (our personal don’t miss xmas event for over 30+ years now). This is all of course, “God Willin’ and the creek don’t rise” – or rather snow don’t fall. Meanwhile, those scottish ginger things – think they demand a try or two (maybe with sneaking a bit of rolled oats into the crust since if it’s scottish, it seems to call for oats).

  7. suchalab on 03 Dec 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Please count me in, YES! How do we find you as I didn’t go to the other gatherings?

  8. Kathy on 03 Dec 2011 at 8:36 am #

    I can’t stay long, but count me in. I’ll bring Minty Candy Christmas Cookies.

  9. Carol SB on 03 Dec 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Hey, darlin’, I think your math is flawed. I should bring however many dozen, then leave with that # LESS a dozen.
    That extra dozen is to share at the party… and if there are leftovers, that is the hostess’ bonus for being awesome.
    Now, my dilemma is how to package these lovely goodies.

  10. Trinh on 03 Dec 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Kristin and I will be coming! We are pretty excited!

  11. Cassie on 03 Dec 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    I have missed all of your other gatherings and would love to attend!!

    This one will be difficult for medsue to a dairy allergy. Pretty much all cookies are made with butter. Hopefully there will be some dairy free alternatives (shortening works!)

  12. Cassie on 03 Dec 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    oops, typo.
    difficult for me due to a dairy allergy*

  13. Carolyn on 03 Dec 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    so, no virtual cookie exchange? I understand it would be a lot of work and time. But, I’m so sad I can’t participate. If people do share recipes at your exchange, could you post them?

    Thanks for pointing this recipe from the Gourmet Cookie book. Another terrific recipe is the Oatmeal Molasses cookie from 1956.

  14. Sarah on 03 Dec 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Thanks Julie! These sound amazing! I’m making them tomorrow!

  15. Amber on 03 Dec 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    How important is the Rogers/Lyle’s Golden Syrup? I’m wondering as I want to make them for a work party but don’t have any Golden Syrup. Anything else work as a sub?

  16. Lauren O. on 03 Dec 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    Definitely count me in Julie! I will scour some cookbooks this week for some inspiration. Looking forward to it!

  17. Erica B. on 03 Dec 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    I’ll be there on the 10th. So glad to finally be able to make it to one of your parties! :D

  18. AJDoula on 04 Dec 2011 at 11:02 am #

    I’ll be there, Julie, barring the arrival of a baby (not mine – I’m a doula). I agree with CarolSB – we should all make enough that you are sure to have an abundance for the holidays. I’m sure W and his cousin would agree!

  19. Amanda on 04 Dec 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Oohh… so in for the cookie exchange!

  20. Sandy on 04 Dec 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Hope to be there too, Julie. Will start scouring my recipes for a good cookie-exchange one. See you then.

  21. Corinne on 04 Dec 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    This sounds wonderful Julie. And well be celebrating and sharing local fare on Terra Madre Day. Thank you hosting these very special occasions.

  22. Melanie on 04 Dec 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    I’m in! I’m in! I’m in! I had to miss the pie party – not missing the cookie exchange!

  23. Carolyn on 04 Dec 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    I just made the recipe posted above…. oh my! Unbelievable! Thank you!

  24. Trudy in Red Deer on 04 Dec 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    This recipe sounds intriguing and delicious. Thanks for posting it Julie! With my staff Christmas party at 6:00 on Sat. in Red Deer, I will not make it to the exchange but I will make this recipe and the Icebox Cookies that you posted at Family Kitchen.

  25. Jenna on 04 Dec 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Julie! I’ll be there for the cookie exchange. Looking forward to it.

  26. Sarah on 04 Dec 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Hoping to make it on Saturday, cookie exchange awesome! Loving the gingery goodness recipe, can’t wait to try it.

  27. Fareen on 05 Dec 2011 at 5:05 am #

    Oh shucks, we have our event at the Coast Plaza that day! I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing party!

  28. Lisa on 05 Dec 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    I’m in for sure – I love cookies almost as much as I love pie!

  29. Colleen on 05 Dec 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    I’m in. Thanks for putting this together Julie.

  30. Colleen on 06 Dec 2011 at 6:27 am #

    Posting again b/c I forgot to put in my email last time.

  31. christine on 06 Dec 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I’d love to come! I am a good cook, not the best baker…but cookie bars I can do…probably raspberry coconut or something like that. Can I bring my “spilling the beans” for an autograph?

  32. Jennifer Jo on 06 Dec 2011 at 11:33 am #

    I’ve made this twice now. Thanks! http://bit.ly/rs0E5T

  33. Ashley on 06 Dec 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    I’m really intrigued by this cookie crunch!!

  34. dragana on 06 Dec 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    These look intriguing! Do you suppose I could freeze them, and if not, how long do you think they can last for?

  35. JulieVR on 06 Dec 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Dragana – you could probably freeze them with no problem, but they keep very well as is! They’d probably keep for a week or so?

  36. JulieVR on 07 Dec 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Carolyn – yes, of course we can do a virtual cookie exchange! I’ll pull it together tonight…

  37. Evelyn on 07 Dec 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Made three batches of these cookies for a funeral. First batch was on Monday – the frozen cookies are all gone. And, yes, they were very good.
    SO – 2 more batches today. I am cutting them about 5 minutes after icing them – a warm pan – with a butter knife. I lined the pans with parchment and they are cutting beautifully! Thanks, Julie, for this easy cookie.

  38. Erin B on 07 Dec 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I’ll be there! Looking forward to it, and I will be bringing dairy free baking Cassie :)

  39. molly on 08 Dec 2011 at 7:36 am #

    yes!!! aren’t these AWESOME? made them for the first time last year, and even though we already turned out an army of gingerbread men, am thinking will need to repeat skibo deliciousness this year.

    ah, the pleasures of lyle’s golden + butter…

  40. Susie on 08 Dec 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I would love to come, but it depends on my little man (he is 5 months old) as he currently has a cold and is unimpressed with life. So can I be a definitely maybe?

  41. Leah on 09 Dec 2011 at 11:42 am #

    AHHH! These are so good! Thank you so very much, threw them together quickly this morning and will probably spend the rest of today finishing them off.

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