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Aug 2, 2008 01:50 PM

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.

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  1. Chop finely and add to this cookie recipe from Epicurious for Ginger Spice cookies...very intense and delectable!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Val

      That is my very favorite cookie recipe of all time. It is the highlight of the cold months for me. Swapping out some of the butter for apple or pear butter has also worked.

      1. re: Vetter

        Yeah, it's probably the wrong time of year for those cookies but I live in Florida and you know what? Sometimes, you just want ginger cookies or gingerbread or lasagna, heat and humidity be damned! So, that's why I suggested that recipe.

      2. re: Val

        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.

      3. 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

        1 Reply
        1. re: HillJ

          Perfect time of year to spike a fruit salad and I shall try Val's cookies. Thanx.

        2. It lasts for ages. I put it in cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, with toasted slivered almonds added at just before serving.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MMRuth

            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?

          2. 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.

            7 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              You're right - just nibbling on it is wonderful, and a couple of bites after dinner helps squelch my hankering for some dessert/ice cream! (Mmmm - bits of it vanilla ice cream - squelching another thought!)

              1. re: MMRuth

                I'm another nibbler.
                I'd also suggest if you know you are going to have to sit through a boring presentation/speech/sermon, a nibble of candied ginger can transport your mind to a more interesting Walter Mitty place.

                1. re: shallots

                  shallots, wonderful visual...been there!
                  ginger gummy bears are sold in bags @ TJ's and known for taking the edge off many an afternoon pre-meeting at work.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Does it get kind of like Turkish Delight texture?


                1. re: TexasToast

                  "Does it get kind of like Turkish Delight texture?"
                  kinda. not as sticky, and a little firmer/more dense...i think. but i've only had turkish delight once, and it was years ago, so i'm probably not the best person to ask. maybe someone else can weigh in...

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Because that sounds quite nice. I didn't know if it went rock sugar like. Will have to find some and try it.


                    1. re: TexasToast

                      it doesn't get even close to rock-hard, just a bit firmer than it is at room temp. still very easy to bite through.

              3. Dice into 1/4" chunks and add it and some lemon & lime zest to shortcake batter... macerate some strawbs in sugar and a little chopped mint... whip up some fresh whipped cream... assemble and enjoy...

                2 Replies
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  Do you have a favorite recipe for shortcake? I usually make buttermilk biscuits but they are not too "short."

                  1. re: mgebs

                    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.

                    Replace tops.

                    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.