Double Ginger Shortbread: A Recipe

I had every intention of posting this recipe yesterday, but decided to spend time in the kitchen preparing homemade gifts for friends instead.

Ginger Shortbread 02December Photo Project 2012: Day #19

I ended up making double ginger shortbread, hazelnut brittle, and crunchy peanut butter cups. My kitchen was a mess, but the results were worth the clean-up that had to happen later.

My favorite of the three was definitely the shortbread. The recipe is so simple and you don’t need many ingredients. It makes the perfect amount for gifting to a couple of friends. The key is to handle the dough as little as possible to obtain a light texture.

Double Ginger Shortbread 

Makes however many cookie you prefer

Scant 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup non-dairy butter, softened
1-2 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon coarse sugar
2 tablespoons roughly chopped crystallized ginger

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, first measure of sugar, ginger powder, and salt.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed for about a minute. Add in the flour mixture and beat at low speed until crumbly. Add in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms. You may not need both tablespoons of water. The dough shouldn’t be sticky or wet, but more like a cut-out cookie dough.

3. Gently shape the dough into a small round and place in a large ziplock bag. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

5. Remove dough from fridge and roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. I rolled mine out into a circle about a 1/2″ thick. Sprinkle the dough with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and press lightly so it adheres to the dough. Score the dough into 8+ wedges, but don’t cut all the way through. Put a few pieces of crystallized ginger onto each wedge and press down lightly.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until just turning light brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes before cutting through the score lines. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will firm up nicely as they cool.

Enjoy!!!

Tonight I am going to a holiday dinner with co-workers so hopefully I’ll be back with a photograph of something fun and/or interesting!

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“F” is for Fig & Ginger Jam

It doesn’t matter what season it is, jam is always an appreciated accompaniment to meals. Last week during my cooking/baking extravaganza with Kittee, we created a beautiful, delicious, and irresistible fig jam. It was quite an adventure because obtaining the figs meant scaling a 9-foot ladder in the wind and rain (thanks Kittee!!) to pluck figs from the tree in Kittee’s yard. My role was essential too: Kittee passed me the figs and I placed them in a tidy pile and took pictures.

Kittee picking figs like a champion.

Fig overload!

The final masterpiece!

Want the recipe? OK!

Fig & Ginger Jam

Makes about 4 pints

Ingredients:

About 7-8 pounds fresh, ripe figs
4 cups unrefined sugar
2″ knob of ginger, grated
Zest from 1 medium lemon, about 1 teaspoon
Juice from 2 medium lemons
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3-ounce packet liquid pectin (we used Certo brand and called customer service to confirm that it was vegan – it is, obviously!)

Directions:

1. Wash and peel the figs. Put the fruit in a large bowl (it will most likely be a pile of smoosh). You should have about 9-10 cups of fruit.
2. Place all ingredients [EXCEPT PECTIN] in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring continuously.
4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for about 30 minutes.
5. Stir in the liquid pectin, cook for 1-2 additional minutes, and then remove from heat.
6. Pour jam into clean, sterilized jars and allow to cool completely before refrigerating. You can also place jam in the freezer (make sure your jars are freezer-safe), just make sure to leave a 1/2″ of headspace in the jar so when it freezes, it has room to expand.

Enjoy!! I wonder what Kittee and I will make this week?!??