Monday, 6 September 2010

Sunday Baking- Stem Ginger Cookies

I don't often bake cookies and I've no idea why, but I'm on course to change this, starting with these stem ginger cookies. I hated stem ginger as a kid and I blame my mum's favourite- ginger jam, which assaulted my senses when I tried it as a child. Things have changed and now I don't quite feel complete unless I have a jar of syrup drenched amber globes of ginger stashed somewhere in my kitchen, and liking stem ginger feels to me like a very grown up thing to do. I like ginger snaps but sometimes find their tooth snapping qualities a little undesirable, so these soft, chewy and slightly crisp on the edges, cookies are a perfect balance. Highly recommended.

Amber gold
Stem Ginger Cookies
Makes 30 small or 20 medium cookies

350g self raising flour
pinch of salt
200g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp ground ginger
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
115g unsalted butter
90g/generous 1/4 cup of golden syrup
1 large egg, beaten
150g stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped

-Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and line 3 baking sheets baking paper.
-Roughly dice the butter and place in a small saucepan with the golden syrup (add a bit of the preserving syrup from the ginger if you want) and heat gently until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until just warm.
-Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt, caster sugar, ground ginger and bicarb. Stir to combine.
-Pour the melted butter and syrup mix over the dry ingredients, then add the egg and two thirds of the stem ginger. Mix with a spoon to combine and then use your hands to bring the dough together completely (it will look like there's not enough liquid, but be patient and when yo mix with yor hands it will come together, honest).
-Roll 20-30 balls (for rough measurement I'd say a well loaded teaspoon will produce a small cookie and a scant dessert spoon will yield a medium one. For super mega big cookies, a good tablespoon) of the dough and place on the baking sheets, with plently of room for them to expand, I'd say no more than 2 rows per sheet. Flatten slightly with your hands and then sprinkle each cookie with a little of the remaining stem ginger.
-Bake for 12-15 minutes, dependent on your chosen size of cookie, until light golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheets until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

-Store in an airtight container, but only after scarfing down enough warm, spicy cookies to make you feel sick.

And for the love of all that is holy, if you finish up a jar of preserved stem ginger, DO NOT throw away the syrup. It is divine drizzled over ice cream or pancakes or use it to sweeten herbal tea, or hot water with some lemon juice and some of the syrup is wonderfully warming. Can also be used in place of normal sugar syrup in cocktails. Anything! Just don't waste the nectar of the gods!

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker