Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Seven Days of Christmas: Word Wednesday: "Ginger"

The word of the day for this week before Christmas is ginger. Ginger root, that is. Ginger is both a delicacy, a medicine, and a spice. The English word ginger comes from French : gingembre, Old English gingifere, Medieval Latin ginginer, Greek zingiberis. The word is originally derived from Tamil (a language of the Indian subcontinent) inij ver, ver being the Tamil word for root. Ginger is used in curries, sushi, cookies, bread, soup, liqueurs, tea, ginger beer, and ginger wine, but the holiday classic and favorite use for the spice is undoubtedly the gingerbread cookie.

I love ginger. Ginger candy, Ginger cake, ginger as a secret ingredient (perfect in chicken soup) and gingerbread cookies! They are THE perfect holiday cookie. This recipe is adapted from Saveur magazine. It is originally from an old bakery in Stockholm, Sweden.

This article was first published in Saveur, Issue #125

3 3⁄4 cups flour

3 tsp. ground cloves

3 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 1⁄2 tsp. ground ginger

1 1⁄4 tsp. baking soda
I also put in a 1/4 tsp. salt
11 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1⁄2 cup golden syrup or dark corn syrup (I used light corn syrup with a dash of molasses)

1⁄2 cup heavy cream (I used whole goat's milk.)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt, if using; set aside. In another large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and golden syrup using a handheld mixer set to medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add the reserved spice mixture and the heavy cream in 3 alternating batches, beginning and ending with the spice mixture, until the dough just combines. Transfer dough to a work surface, divide in half, and shape each half into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Heat oven to 350°. Unwrap 1 disk of dough and place on a floured work surface (preferably a cooler one). Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a 1⁄8" thickness. Cut out cookies using the cookie cutters of your choice and place cookies 2" apart on parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling scraps. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until browned and set, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Enjoy!

(Note from The Lonely Alchemist: The Wizard Dreamer served these with a topping of homemade coconut and goats milk ice cream and candied ginger. It was amazing!)


The Wizard Dreamer

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