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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
December 02 2011 09:52 pm | cookies & squares