Friday, January 3, 2014

Stem Gingernuts

I hope that you have had a good start to your new year! I know that so many people swear off desserts at the beginning of the year, but I don’t do that. Sure, maybe I don’t want the elaborate dessert that I fancied a month or so ago, but I still want to bake. This recipe is from a cookbook that I received a year ago for Christmas: The Great British Book of Baking

I love gingernuts, a traditional ginger cookie in the UK. This is one recipe that I have marked when I first went through the cookbook. But it called for stem ginger in syrup, which until recently I hadn’t been able to find anywhere. My husband found it at a specialty market in Pike Place Market, and so I could finally make these cookies. You could probably substitute candied ginger, but the stem ginger in syrup is a little softer. 

You make these cookies in a plain mixing bowl, but I will admit that I did, in the end, but the dough in my mixer to make sure everything was completely mixed. I thought that the dough would come together, but no amount of mixing would have made that happen. It’s just a crumbly dough. The dough looks plain when you put it in the oven but the cookies come out of the oven beautiful and golden. They have a great ginger flavor, not too strong but it’s clearly there. They aren’t super sweet, and they’re perfect with a cup of tea.

Stem Gingernuts
12.3 ounces self-rising flour* (about 2-1/4 cups)
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 ounces sugar (about 1 cup)
½ cup butter, cut in pieces
3 ounces golden syrup (about ¼ cup)
1 egg
1.2 ounces drained stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped (2 pieces)

Preheat oven to 240 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the self-rising flour, ginger, baking soda, and sugar. I a small saucepan or microwaveable bowl, combine the butter and golden syrup and heat on low. Heat and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Add the cooled butter mixture to the flour mixture. Add the egg and diced stem ginger. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined. The mixture will be crumbly and will not form a cohesive dough, but the flour should be completely incorporated.

Shape the dough into 1-1/2” balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Rotate the baking sheet half way through the baking time. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from The Great British Book of Baking by Linda Collister

*I make my own self-rising flour by combining 4 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt

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