Crystallized Ginger Zingers
By Lauren Stacy Berdy
A bewitching delicious spark plug of a cookie. This recipe connects to ginger’s inherent abilities to zing.
The cookie dough contains both powdered and candied ginger.
Buy a new bottle of powdered ginger and these cookies will thank you. The ground black pepper is best when fresh as well.
Vanilla beans are my boon baking companions.
All these cookies will blossom with more taste upon chewing
The raw dough gets sliced and baked to a deep golden brown.
The finished cookies are elegantly crisp- each bite a zinging encounter.
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
⅔ cup sugar
⅔ cup crystallized ginger (about 20 pieces)
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 level tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg, checked
all-purpose flour for hands
Note: I buy my vanilla beans in bulk on the Internet for much less money. Divide the order among friends. Here is the link to one source: www.beanilla.com/vanilla
Prime the ingredients.
To prepare a vanilla bean: place the vanilla bean in front of you on a cutting board. Carefully cut the vanilla pod lengthwise into two equal pieces. Use a small knife to scrape the bean’s inner “caviar” from the insides of both halves. Scrape the “caviar” into the measured sugar (tuck the empty pod into your sugar bowl).
Place sugar and vanilla “caviar” inside the standing blender, add in the crystallized ginger.
If using vanilla extract, add now.
Grind contents for 10 seconds. Use forks tines to dislodge ingredients if the blender hesitates. Grind ingredients for 10 seconds. Use the fork tines to stir ingredients up from the bottom. Grind for another 10 seconds. Set aside.
Hand chop the ginger into dices. Place into a bowl, stir in the sugar and vanilla caviar (or extract). Stir. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, powdered ginger, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
Pour the olive oil and egg into a standing mixer with a batter attachment. Beat on medium speed for 20 seconds. Stop.
Scape in all the blended sugar, vanilla and ginger.
Mix for 15 seconds on medium. Stop.
Add in all the dry ingredients.
Beat on medium until dough is combined- about 10 seconds.
Prepare a piece of parchment (or plastic wrap) about 18” in length and lay it flat on the workspace.
Remove and scrape the dough and place it in the middle of the wrap.
Flour your hands.
Roll the dough into a fat log.
Use your floured hands to gently flatten the fat “log” into rectangle about 11” long, by 1½” thick and 4” wide.
Seal, wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour to firm the dough for a clean slice. Prepare a sheet pan(s) with parchment or silicone mat.
Preheat oven (convection of available) to 350 ºF.
Using a sharp knife slice dough into thin ¼” slices.
Place each ½” apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cookies are a deep golden brown.
Color is crunch and taste. No anemic cookies!
Cool the cookies on a baking sheet.
Remove. Cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
Well-wrapped baked cookies can be frozen. Crisp in preheated 300 ºF oven for 6 minutes. Remove and cool completely before serving.
Note: The raw dough can be sealed and frozen for a couple of weeks. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. Slice and bake.
Recipe: kosher, parve, dessert