I have a deep love for ginger. And I found out that my boss does as well, so when her birthday rolled around in October, I knew I had to find a use for a package of crystallized ginger that I had in the house. I adapted a basic butter cookie recipe and added some lemon zest to give it a little more flavor dimension, but I think this could be equally lovely with orange zest instead. What’s great about these cookies is that they are really easy to make, and you can make the dough and bake as many or as few cookies as you want at a time. All in all, the recipe should yield between 2-3 dozen cookies.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
10 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup chopped candied ginger (chopping the ginger is actually the most time-consuming part of this recipe)
1 tbsp lemon (or orange) zest
1 egg white
2 tsp water
coarse sugar for sprinkling on cookies
Combine the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and mix completely.
Add the dry ingredients and the lemon zest. Mix the dough on medium speed; it will start to look crumbly, but then the dough will come back together– fear not! Fold in the crystallized ginger pieces, and shape the dough into a log that is about 1.5 inches in diameter. I found it was much more manageable to make two logs.
Wrap the log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough, at least for 8 hours, so that the flavors have a chance to meld. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the log into 1/4 inch-thick medallions.
Arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You can put them pretty close to one another, as they won’t expand much, if at all. Add the two tablespoons of water to the egg white and brush the egg white mixture on the tops of each of the cookies and then sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of coarse sugar. If you want these to look holiday-ish, you can substitute the coarse sugar with a colored coarse decorating sugar.
Bake the cookies for approximately 15 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies turn golden brown. Try to keep yourself from eating all of them in one day.