Thursday, December 13, 2018

Candied Ginger, Ginger Syrup, and The Perfect Ginger Cookie

I have the perfect Ginger Cookie Recipe.  It is everything that a ginger cookie should be...chewy in the center, slightly crisp on the edges, and so gingery that it makes your tongue tingle.  It tastes like the warm cozy December of your Dreams, not the Insanely Expensive Overly Scheduled Decembers of your Reality.  It uses ginger root in four forms:  ground, chopped, candied, and syrup.  The challenge with this recipe is that, to do it justice, it takes a really long time.  For real.  Peeling ginger is tedious work.

Have I scared you?  I hope not!  You can certainly buy all of the Ginger Ingredients "ready made" --- I always purchase the ground ginger---and the cookies will be super delicious.  It's just that you will not get to enjoy the side benefits of extra candied ginger (great for digestion) and some seriously delicious Ginger Syrup (add Club Soda to make a killer Ginger Ale).  Gift yourself with a day in the kitchen and process 2 pounds of ginger root into candy, syrup, spicy sugar, and finally....a cookie that hugs you!

Prepping the ginger root is not complicated:

First, peel two pounds of ginger root.  It is an irregularly shaped root with lots of knobs and twists, so a spoon is the easiest -- and safest -- way to peel the skin.  This is the mind numbing part of the process and I find that a good podcast or a nice glass of wine helps.

The hard part is over!   Let's make some Ginger Syrup!

You will need:

8 cups of sugar
6 cups of water
2 pounds of ginger sliced into very thin rounds

NOTE:  Save a couple of knobs of ginger to grind up if you are going to make the Ginger Cookies featured in the recipe below.

Heat the sugar and water at medium high temperature using a wide, low pot that is large enough to accommodate the ginger.  Stir continuously to avoid burning the sugar.  Bring to a boil and carefully add the ginger.  Return to a low boil, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes.  Cover and give the ginger time to cool.

Once the ginger has cooled enough to be workable you can strain out the liquid, which is your Ginger Syrup.  Use a colander over a big bowl and let the ginger strain for at least 30 minutes, stirring the ginger around gently once or twice.  NOTE: If time permits, I let the ginger and syrup sit overnight to maximize the infusion of ginger into the syrup.
This recipe yields about 1 1/2 quarts of Ginger Syrup.
Now for the Candied Ginger!

Preheat oven to 200 degrees

You will need:
2 cups of sugar, more or less
Baking sheets lined with parchment paper and baking rack

Put a cup of sugar into a bowl and add a few handfuls of the strained ginger.  Mix it until it is well coated and then put the slices on the baking rack.  A lot of the sugar and the tiniest pieces of ginger will fall through the baking rack so parchment paper helps with clean up.  The recipe will fill up four baking sheets.

Place the ginger in  a 200 degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes to insure that the candy is no longer sticky.  The sugar balances the fire of the ginger.  Added bonus: The ginger sugar that has collected on the baking sheet can be saved and used to roll your ginger cookies!
I was able to fill a gallon jar with candied ginger with this recipe.

Add a few tablespoons of ginger syrup to club soda for instant, and delicious, ginger ale!

Now that you have done all of this work, the Ginger Cookies are an absolute breeze!

Yield: 3 dozen large cookies

Rosie Belle Farm's Quadruple Ginger Cookies

These amazing cookies utilize ginger root four ways: ground, chopped, candied, and in a fiery syrup.


5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups of butter, room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup sorghum molasses
1/4 ginger syrup
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup of sugar, more or less, for rolling the cookie


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, candied ginger, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Add butter to electric mixer and beat for 2 minutes or so, until butter is creamy.  Add brown sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.  Add eggs, molasses, ginger syrup, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.  Beat until well blended.  Add flour mixture slowly at low speed until just blended.

Put sugar in a small bowl.

Make a golf ball sized ball of dough and roll it in the sugar to coat it, then place on the cookie sheet.  Leave several inches between cookies as the dough will spread as it bakes.  Don’t crowd…make about 8-10 cookies per sheet.

Bake cookies until the surface cracks, about 15 minutes.  The center should be soft and chewy while the edges are a bit crisp.

Yield approximately 3 dozen cookies depending upon the size.

Cookies are love.  Enjoy!