Friday, March 28, 2014

Cardamom Ginger Crunch

Usually when I'm going to blog about a recipe, I have a pretty good idea as I'm making it and end up snapping pictures of the various stages (sometimes coming dangerously close to interfering with said recipe...)

But I didn't plan ahead here. In fact, it was almost midnight and I was feeling restless when I stepped into the kitchen to whip up this crunchy sweet treat. And oh man, was it worth it! My coworkers thought so too, once I brought it into work so I wouldn't eat the whole thing myself...

So even though I don't have the requisite pictures, I felt compelled to share. Any time you get the chance to envelop your kitchen in spices and melted butter, you're going to feel pretty serene. Then you take a bite and it's even better.

Rather than ground cardamom and ginger, I worked with cardamom pods (which I cracked, extracted the seeds from, and then ground the seeds) and freshly grated ginger. For the glaze, I went with a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg rather than more cardamom, plus the grated ginger. I didn't have confectioners' sugar—see above about not planning ahead—so I threw granulated sugar into the blender with a little cornstarch. Et voilĂ ! Crunchy, spicy goodness.

Cardamom Ginger Crunch (adapted from Saveur)Yield: 12 pieces Ingredients:
For shortbread:
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and grated
3 cardamom pods, seeds extracted and ground
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch kosher salt

For the glaze:
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pinch kosher salt
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar (or 1/4 granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch, blended together at high speed)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease 7x11 in. baking dish with baking spray. For shortbread, put butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together with mixer on medium until fluffy. Add flour, gringer, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Mix until fully combined but still crumbly. Pour into baking pan and press flat (about 1/4 inch thick). Bake for 15 minutes, until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Make the glaze by combining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then pour over cooled shortbread. Let cool again. Cut into rectangles and serve.

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