What to do with candied ginger
I was gifted a jar of candied ginger, little pieces coated with sugar, and I don't know what to do with them.
Also my favorite cookie recipe (well, second to Grandma's oatmeal chocolate chip.) Unbelievably delicious. I always add black pepper and cayenne, as some reviewers on Epi suggested. Also, I sub half the molasses for honey. I too live in Florida, and yeah, is August really all that different from December? Ginger spice cookies are now on this week's menu.
Add to your sugar bowl and the ginger will flavor it nicely (similar to adding vanilla pods)
Add to water or sugar & water to make a syrup for flavoring tea
Add to ginger ale and pour into an ice cube tray for future cocktails
Add to the blender along with light rum and spike a fresh fruit salad
Dice well and add as a topper to any muffin batter
Ruth, absolutely agreed! This past Thanksgiving made 3 different types of cranberry sauce and the one with crystallized ginger, orange and a dash of brandy was a HUGE hit.
BTW, what is the shelf life of crystallized ginger? Bought some at WF in Nov 2007 and its still in my pantry. Is it still good?
eat it straight from the jar. seriously, that's my favorite use for it. even better, stash some in the freezer before snacking on it - it firms up a bit but doesn't get rock-hard, and biting into that sweet & spicy nugget at such a cold temperature is a completely unique & really enjoyable sensory experience.
if you're not into that, i'll second the other suggestions as an addition to cranberry sauce, cookies & brownies.
it's also great in chutney, or diced & sprinkled onto oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream.
I think any standard shortcake recipe will work - here's the one I usually work off of:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar for shortcake
1 tspn sugar for sprinkling tops of shortcakes
1 tblspn sugar for whipped cream
2 tblspns sugar for macerating fruit
1 tblspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
2/3 stick of butter - sliced into cubes and frozen
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
zest of two limes
1/4-1/3 cup chopped candied ginger - quantity is determined by how hot the ginger is and your preference.
strawberries, berries, or even stone fruits
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients including ginger and zests into bowl.
Add cubes of butter and cut into dry ingredients with pastry blender. You can rub butter in with your hands but the heat from your hands might melt the butter, making the shortcake less tender.
Add 3/4 cup of whipping cream and stir with fork or cut in with pastry blender.
Pour dough onto floured board and knead/turn 3-4 times while dusting more flour on to board, forming a 4"x8" rectangle.
Cut into six equal pieces (triangles, rectangles, or squares) with a knife or serrated pastry cutter (nice touch and the edges will crisp/brown better).
Place on cookie sheet line with silpat mat or lightly greased parchment paper.
Sprinkle sugar on top of shortcakes.
Place in 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes until tops and edges are deep golden brown.
Remove and let cool for about 15 minutes.
While shortcakes are baking and then cooling, prepare macerated fruit and whipped cream.
I usually use strawberries but will add other berries for color and flavor. I think peaches, nectarines, even plums would work as well.
Clean and slice about 2-3 pints worth of fruit to a bowl and sprinkle in 2 tblspns of sugar.
You can add any orange-flavored liqueur like Grand Marnier or triple sec if desired. Orange blossom water will work with or in place of liqueur but use it sparingly as it is very potent. If using liqueur, you might want to adjust sugar to taste. Once done, cover and refrigerate.
Whip remaining 3/4 cup of whipping cream with 1 tblspn sugar and 1/2 tspn vanilla and refrigerate.
Once shortcakes have cooled, cut horizontally with bread knife and plate.
Add macerated fruit to the bottoms, then add whipped cream.
If desired, add dollop of whipped cream and/or more fruit to tops, then garnish with slivers of candied ginger and sprigs of mint if desired. Any remaining fruit can be placed around the shortcakes.