Iced Hermits

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE COOKIES
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 cup chopped candied ginger, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup raisins

FOR THE ICING
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar, plus more if needed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line bottom with parchment paper, and butter parchment; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cloves in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add brown sugars; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and yolk, and molasses. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Mix in 1/2 cup candied ginger and the raisins.
    Spread dough evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until firm, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely in baking sheet on a wire rack.
  3. Make icing: Put brown sugar, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar. If icing is too thick to drizzle, stir in more milk, a teaspoon at a time. If icing is too thin, stir in more confectioners sugar, a teaspoon at a time. Let cool slightly.
  4. Drizzle bars with icing; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup candied ginger. Let stand until icing has set, about 15 minutes. Cut into 2-inch squares. Bars can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

NOTE: These bars are a bit on the dry side. I added 1/4 c milk to keep them moist. With the milk, they will not store as long as they would otherwise.

NOTE2: DO NOT double the spices in this recipe. They already have an “Indian” level of spice. You’ve been warned. ^^

NOTE3: These are really delicious, amazing cookies.

NOTE4: The icing tastes a lot like New Orleans pralines. Yum yum.

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Ginger Shortbread

From David Leibovitz, who seems to have gotten it from the Edmonds Cookery Book (1908)

Yield: 18 to 24 bar cookies

Original pan: 20 cm x 30 cm rectangular pan
What I would use: 8 in x 8 in brownie pan, lined with parchment paper (hanging over the edge so you can pull the shortbread out of the brownie pan), sides buttered

INGREDIENTS:

Cookie base

4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons, 125g) unsalted butter, room temperature (it should be very soft)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
1 1/2 cup (210g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried ginger

Icing

2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons, 75g) butter, salted or unsalted
2 tablespoons golden syrup (or palm syrup)
3/4 cup (90g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon ground dried ginger

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Butter a 13-inch rectangular tart pan or another pan (see headnote.)

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand in a large bowl, make the cookie base by creaming the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger.

3. Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until well-combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead it until the dough is relatively smooth.

(If necessary, dampen your hands to add a bit of moisture to the dough, if it’s dry.)

4. Press the dough into the prepared pan and flatted the surface, then bake the dough for 20 minutes, until it’s light golden brown.

5. Five minutes before the dough is done, making the icing by heating the 2 1/2 ounces of butter and golden syrup in a small pan, then mix in the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon ginger, stirring until smooth.

6. When you take the pan out of the oven, pour the warm icing over the cookie base. Let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and slice while still slightly warm.
Note: The only substitutions I could imagine that might work for this recipe might be honey, since it has the same viscosity to golden syrup. Rice syrup is another possibility. If you do try it with another liquid sweetener, please share your results in the comments.

Momofuku Ginger Scallion Sauce

Ginger Scallion Sauce

from Momofuku cookbook by David Chang

makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:
2½ cups thinly sliced scallions (green and whites, from 1-2 large bunches)
½ cup finely minced fresh ginger
¼ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1½ teaspoons usukuchi (light soy sauce)
¾ teaspoon sherry vinegar (we didn’t have this so we used mirin – it was fine)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

Directions:
Mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed.

Welsh Honey and Ginger Cake

This is a British National Trust recipe, so I’m including the metric measurements for reference. In Wales, they make it for St.David’s Day. The local name for the cake is Tiessennau Mel.

Honey Cake 1 Honey Cake 2

INGREDIENTS:

100 g (4 oz) butter = 1 stick butter
225 g (8 oz) honey = 1 c honey
150 ml (5 oz) milk = 5/8 c milk
450 g (1 lb) flour, sifted = 4 c flour
pinch salt
2.5 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground ginger
100 g (4 oz) sultanas (sultana = golden raisin) = 1/2 c raisins
50 g (2 oz) mixed candied peel = 1/4 c fruitcake mix
2 eggs, beaten

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Grease an 8 inch cake pan.

3. Melt butter with honey and milk on stove over low heat. Remove from heat and leave to cool.

4. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, raisins and candied peel.

5. Add eggs to flour mixture.

6. Add honey and milk mixture to flour mixture.

7. Consistency should be soft.

8. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake 65-70 min.

NOTE: I am baking in a cast iron pan as a test. Oiled, no parchment, no flour, did not preheat.
Batter = amazingly delicious. DO NOT BAKE IN A CAST IRON, IT REALLY DRIES OUT THE CAKE.