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What to do with candied ginger

  • m

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.

                2. I mince it fine and add it to blueberry and apricot jams when I'm preserving. It's pretty good in peach concoctions too. It's good as a fine dice in lemon poppyseed scones. I second the candied ginger snack nibble. If you suffer from nausea a nibble of candied ginger works great and it's also reputed to help people who suffer from motion sickness.

                  1. i mince it up and make it into holiday cheesecakes.....

                    1. I keep candied ginger on hand at all times to calm upset tummies.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: eartha

                        It is the single best cure for morning sickness.

                        1. re: tzurriz

                          Does wonders for motion sickness (carsick or sea sick).

                      2. Throw it in some rum. I had a 1/4 bottle of Ron Zacapa C. 23 Yr, and threw a few pieces in there. It's delicious sipping.

                        But mostly, I consume that stuff whole. YUM.

                        1. - Chop them up and sprinkle it on ice-cream (like vanilla or simple flavors)
                          - Mash them up and mix it into latte - Ginger latte! (Christmas in August?)
                          - Mash them up and mix into coke or beer (though because the beverage is cold, the ginger taste won't come out as strong); Or take HillJ's suggestion, make a ginger syrup which you can pour into coke and beer, or lemonade

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: kobetobiko

                            Hmmm, in beer you say-gotta try this next time! Txs, kobetobiko.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Yes, I just had a wonderful non-alcoholic (!) ginger beer from England at Gramercy Tavern, and candied ginger is the first ingredient in the label! ;D

                          2. My Christmas cake recipe calls for candied ginger, shredded fine. One year I left it out and what a difference, the cake was just not the same.

                            I have also put shredded candied ginger in my carrot cake icing. It is a great combination.

                            1. I posted a recipe for ginger chevre tart recently:


                              I also sometimes make ginger cream scones; just take a currant cream scone recipe and substitute chopped crystallized ginger for the currants.

                              Of course, when I want to cook with candied ginger I usually have to go out and buy it because I've eaten the remains of the last bag I bought to bake with....

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jlafler

                                Looks like a great recipe. That was served as desert then? Also, why the powdered sugar in the dough? Haven't seen that before. What does that do - say as opposed to granulated sugar?

                                1. re: scoopG

                                  Yup, a dessert.

                                  I'm not sure what the powdered sugar does, actually -- maybe make the crust smoother, less gritty. Whatever it is, it's probably a subtle effect.

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  i'm snacking on some dark chocolate-covered ginger as i type this :) man, i love the stuff!

                                2. I've diced candied ginger and mixed the pieces into muffin batter and pancakes--sprinkle them into the batter after you've poured the pancake on the pan.

                                  You can also infuse vodka. Squeeze half a cup of chopped candied ginger into a bottle of vodka let it sit in the freezer for a few days.

                                  1. Seasonal: Melt some butter and sugar in a saucepan. Add sliced red plums, chopped candied ginger and a splash of brandy. Simmer until the plums begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Serve on ice cream or with a slice of pound cake.

                                    You can do something similar with rhubarb and Grand Marnier earlier in the summer and figs and Chartreuse in the fall.

                                    Or, if you can bear the thought of turning on the oven, add it to the fruit before baking plum cobbler or crisp.

                                    1. Chopped up and cooked in my oatmeal.

                                      1. This recipe for Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie I got from someone on egullet is really good:

                                        Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

                                        Crust: 1 Pkg cinnamon crisp graham crackers
                                        1/3 C melted butter

                                        Grind crackers into crumbs. Mix with butter and press into a deep pie dish.

                                        Soften 1 qt best-quality vanilla ice cream. Snip ½ jar candied ginger into small pieces. Combine ginger and vanilla ice cream and pour into crust and freeze.

                                        Combine 1 C canned pumpkin, 1 C sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, ¼ t powdered ginger, 1 t ground cinnamon. Mix well. Whip 1 C cream to soft peaks. Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mix. Pour over frozen ice cream. Dust top with pumpkin pie spice. Freeze until firm.

                                        I also made pineapple-ginger-lime margaritas the other night, and I ground up some candied ginger and used that to rim the glasses- very tasty!

                                        1. i like it in homemade granola mixes, it really switches it up nicely with the spiciness compared to the other sweet fruits.

                                          1. Try a Ginger Trifle (instead of the standard sherry-soaked sponge cake-raspberry jam version aka English Trifle).

                                            I served this last fall when the gang wanted trifle but that seemed too Christmassy- this had a more autumnal feel.

                                            1. Soak leftover gingerbread, slightly staled if you have time) in Stone's Green Ginger Wine (or the orange tipple of your choice or use ginger beer). Artistically arrange 3/4 in your best glass serving dish.

                                            2. For the custard layer, make a standard egg custard or cheat and use Bird's and add the chopped candied ginger to the hot custard and pour over cake layer. Chill until custard sets.

                                            3. Add a layer of homemade or tinned applesauce and spare the spice here as you don't want ot over do it!

                                            4. Add another layer of the ginger wine soaked cake. Chill your bowl of trifle until ready to serve.

                                            5. Finish with a layer of whipped cream sprinkled with candied ginger and sliced toasted almonds.

                                            This is rich but makes a welcome change from pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or other fall feast!

                                            1. I chop up a handful and add it to pies, but especially pumpkin pie. It's fabulous with any dessert that has pears, peaches or apples. I also add some to a fruit salad.
                                              Can you tell I like candied ginger?
                                              I make my own.

                                              1. Our favorite party snack:
                                                Take a flour tortilla (wrap style), slather with cream cheese, sprinkle chopped candied ginger and roll on up. Slice into wheels and serve.

                                                My favorite part is eating the not-so-neat end scraps that don't look good on the serving tray!!

                                                It is one of the easiest things ever, and seems so gourmet to others (well, those that don't cook much!!!). We like it plain just like this, but I would assume adding Thai Basil, mint, or pistachios would really jazz things up!

                                                1. I agree with all the bakers who add it to pies and cookies. Every Xmas I make pain d'epices with ginger and walnuts which is very yummy sliced thin, toasted with raspberry jam. And butter, too, don't forget.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: spm

                                                    'k, i live under a rock (and i'm too lazy to go look it up), what's pain d'epices, please?

                                                      1. re: smalt

                                                        "'k, i live under a rock"(and i'm too lazy to go look it up)
                                                        LOL :)

                                                        pain d'épices literally translates to "bread of spices." it's traditionally made with a combination of spices [e.g. ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, cloves] and *a lot* of honey.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          You're describing French-style gingerbread, which often doesn't contain ginger and which may well be what spm was referring to, but pain d'épices is French for all kinds of gingerbread, not just honey spice bread.

                                                          1. re: carswell


                                                            i had no way of knowing what recipe spm uses, i was just providing the literal translation and basic traditional alsatian formula for smalt - i was under the impression that the term was a catchall for any spice bread, and that gingerbread is just one of the variations. but maybe i was misinformed.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              Hardly mere semantics. Ask for "pain d'épices" in Montreal and you could get the French spice cake-like stuff or the stuff English-speakers call gingerbread or Lebkuchen, etc. And you never know what to expect when you encounter the term on a menu up here. It may well be that for United Statesians or maybe even English-speaking countries as a whole *pain d'épices* defaults to French gingerbread. But it doesn't do so in many parts of the world. The Larousse Gastro entry for pain d'épices (or gingerbread in the English edition) includes discussion of and recipes for both French- and English-style gingerbread.

                                                              1. re: carswell

                                                                funny, i think we're actually in agreement here, just not understanding each other. that's what i was trying to say - there are generalizations & defaults, but it's *not* so simple. however, i took your initial response to smalt's query ["pain d'épices = gingerbread"] to mean that you thought it was a simple, direct translation without exception, embellishment, or variation.

                                                                when will i learn not to read or post when i'm tired & bleary-eyed?

                                                          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            thanks all - and for not scorching me with derision - guess my high school french didn't get me the "d'epices" part. sounds good, sounds like something i'd pull off for christmas baking or at least cold weather when the air needs to be perfumed by baking......c'mon seattle, RAIN!

                                                      2. I chop it finely and add to a reduction of apricot jam and reisling. Makes a great sauce over bread pudding....