There are three things that are always in stock in my mom’s pantry, onions, garlic and ginger. We use ginger in so many dishes it’s not funny! I suspect it’s a holdover from the Chinese part of her heritage 😛
Most recently I used ginger in a sweet, rather than savoury, recipe when I made my mom a batch of Friendship Cookies for Mother’s Day. As a result, I thought that this versatile root would be the perfect ingredient to spotlight in this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging (hosted this time around by Australia’s überfabulous Kitchen Wench).
Ginger is one of those ingredients that can be many things to many people. Not only is it used in cuisines around the world, but it also comes in a variety of forms?��Ǩ���fresh, pickled, dried, and crystallized among them
People who bake may immediately call to mind the ground ginger they use in gingerbread or the jewel-like crystallized ginger they add to holiday cookies and cakes. Others think first of ginger’s savory contributions: the brightness that minced fresh ginger adds to Chinese stir-fry, or the refreshing tang of pickled ginger served with sushi.
Rarely used as the sole flavouring in recipes, ginger combines particularly well with the warm spice notes of cumin and coriander in savory preparations. Garlic, mustard seed, turmeric, and the whole palette of Indian seasonings would shine less brightly without ginger’s glow. In sweets such as quick breads, muffins, and preserves, ginger is part of a classic triumvirate along with cinnamon and cloves.
In each of its incarnations, however, ginger makes its simultaneously hot and refreshing presence known.
Normally I’m not a fan of ground ginger (not pungent enough) but for most baked goods I find that it beats trying to grind/grate fresh ginger!
These cookies are addictive in flavour, but very delicate. As a result I would make them MUCH smaller the next time around 🙂
Recipe By: Chicago Tribune Annual Food Guide Holiday Cookie Contest
2 1/4 cups Unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Pure maple syrup
1/4 cup Sorghum molasses
2 teaspoons Baking soda
1 teaspoon Ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Additional sugar for coating
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have ungreased baking sheet(s) ready.
2. Combine all ingredients, except sugar for coating, in large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until combined. Refrigerate to firm dough slightly, about 20 minutes.
3. Roll into large balls, using 1/4 cup dough each for large cookies or a scant tablespoon for smaller cookies (dough will be soft). Roll in additional sugar to coat. Arrange on baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart.
4. Bake until set, about 15 minutes for large cookies and 10 minutes for smaller ones. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute before transferring to wire rack to cool.
Fourth-place winner in the 1995 Chicago Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest. By Agnes Da Costa of Countryside