I’ve come across a few recipes lately that asked for crystallised ginger. For whatever reason, and despite the wide range of interesting food shops around me, I couldn’t find any.
Maybe they were all just out of stock at the same time, or maybe we as a community don’t do enough baking to justify them stocking it any more. In any case, it was frustrating. I almost never go to Coles or Woolworths, so I’m not sure if they have any or not.
Anyway, I was at Costco last week, and there it was. A whole 1kg box of “naked ginger” pieces from Buderim, which is not really crystallised, but kinda. It looks sugar preserved, but with minimal sugar.
Which also means that it has plenty of that wonderful ginger bite. It’s absolutely delicious.
In honour of this wonderful find, I went in search of something that would hero the ingredient. First cab off the rank is this ginger biscuit recipe from food.com (they say they got it from LCBO Holiday 2003 Food & Drink). The recipe calls the biscuits Swedish, though I have no idea why. They have a lot of sugar, but at least it’s in in the form I like best – brown sugar and molasses.
The biscuits – like so many of the things I cook – weren’t pretty, but they really were delicious. They were even better the next day I think, with plenty of spicy, ginger flavour, and they proved very popular with various tasters.
Swedish ginger biscuits
Beat for 2 minutes, until it’s a lovely toffee/caramel colour and beautifully thick:
3/4 cup unsalted butter (I really don’t like cup measures rather than weight, but that’s how the recipe came. This started as a heaped cup of butter pieces, and it came to about 3/4 measure when I softened it)
1 cup soft brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
Sift in and mix:
1¾ cup plain flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped ginger. (I decided to be lazy and put it in a small processor for a very quick blitz, thinking it would chop it into bits, but it turned a fair bit of it into a paste. I used it anyway, but next time I will chop it nicely into small pieces).
Prepare a plate with maybe 1/3 of a cup of raw sugar granules. Mix the biscuit mix thoroughly and roll into balls 2-3cm across. Then dip one side of the balls into the raw sugar and then place them sugar side up on a lined baking tray. They will spread and flatten, so give them room.
Cook for about 12 minutes at 180C. The top should have fine cracks and the biscuits should feel reasonably firm.
Verdict: a hit with anyone who likes spicy ginger, and that lovely molasses sweetness.