Friday, March 19, 2010

Sticky Ginger Squares

We’re almost through winter and I’m ready for spring. Since I work at a college, my life is defined in 4 quarters. We’re just about done with winter quarter and then it’s on to spring. Spring quarter goes so fast and then before you know it, it’s time for back to school. It’s funny how quickly time goes by. I really like when fall comes around, I can start making all of those autumn recipes that I adore.

So last week I asked a couple of coworkers which cookies to bake. This was one of the choices. One of my colleagues looked at the King Arthur Flour website where this was posted and she read the reviews. She mentioned that the comments say the cookies taste better a couple days after they were made. So I made a bit of a compromise: I said I would make these early the next week and bring them on Friday.

These are certainly more of a fall or holiday cookie, but I don’t care. I love ginger! These were posted on the King Arthur Flour blog: Baking Banter back in November. These are easy to make, but they do use a number of bowls. They reminded me a lot of gingerbread when I was making them, which is a nice memory. I did make them early in the week and then cut them right before taking them to work on Friday. I was a little short on candied ginger, but just barely. I did have to sacrifice cute Ginger Babies to make these, but it was for a good cause.

I’m really glad that I made these early, because it does seem like the flavors had blended together wonderfully. The bottom layer is so good and does taste a lot like gingerbread. My husband said they taste like Christmas. The bottom is chewy and the top is crumbly; the little chunks of candied ginger are a nice touch. Sure maybe these are better suited for the holidays, but they’re pretty tasty any time of the year.

1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger
1/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 13" pan with foil and butter the foil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, allspice, salt, baking soda, and crystallized ginger. In a large mixer bowl stir together the molasses, eggs, brown sugar and butter. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 15 minutes.

While the bars are baking, make the topping: using a pastry blender, mix together the flour, butter, salt, and brown sugar until it's fairly well-blended; some chunks of butter can remain. Mix in the crystallized ginger.

As soon as the bars come out of the oven, sprinkle on the streusel, and bake an additional 30 minutes, till the streusel is a deep, golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour


Kelsey said...

I do love ginger, so these look wonderful to me!

csr said...

Those came out lovely! For a "Spring" variation, try blending half crystallized ginger and half finely diced dried apricots. Frank @ KAF, baker/blogger.