This cookie is something you’ve never tasted before. There’s no chocolate, no caramel, no peanut butter, no nuts, no oatmeal, no coffee, no mint, nor is there any jam in this cookie, so how can it be good? I don’t know, but it is. Damn good. Two bites and you’ll be addicted and you won’t know why.
I don’t know why I made this cookie in the first place. I found it in “The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe From Each Year 1941-2009” by Gourmet Magazine. This was billed as the best cookie of 1999. Maybe I made it because it was made famous in Scotland and I have a fondness for all things Scottish. Maybe because it was a 15 minute bar cookie recipe and I had all the ingredients on hand. Nevertheless, I made it, and this odd, crunchy ginger cookie has become one of my favorite all time cookies.
I had to change the recipe though. The first year I made it, I loved it, but it was ODD, downright ugly and temperamental (no two batches turned out the same). So I twiddled with it a bit and then , sadly, had to let it go as an “almost great” cookie. This year, I found the recipe again, on Epicurious. com…, with twenty-five comments! So I tried the recipe again and incorporated some of the suggestions. Success! This is the cookie I am taking to my Cookbook Club’s annual Christmas Cookie Exchange (my yoga group already gave it 10 thumbs up–and they got to taste both years’ versions).
The biggest change was doubling the recipe, but baking in the same size pan as the original recipe. The second big change was using a food processor to make the base. The third big change was cutting the cookie into squares before the cookie cooled. So here is the recipe for an odd, crunchy, ginger-y cookie that takes 15 minutes to bake and is totally addictive.
If you want more ginger flavor, add 1/2 cup minced candied ginger to either the shortbread base or sprinkled on top of the glaze.
Skibo Castle Ginger Crunch
For Shortbread Base:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into pieces
For Glaze-like Topping:
1 1/2 cups butter
2 tablespoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup (British cane sugar syrup-try World Market or an Indian Grocery or Amazon.com…or sub dark corn syrup)
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F . Line a 13″ by 9″ baking pan with parchment paper.
Make shortbread base:
Place the dry ingredients in a food processor and whirl to combine. Add in and blend in butter and whirl until mixture resembles coarse meal and just starts to hold together. Pour mixture into parchment lined baking pan. With your fingers, press mixture evenly into bottom of pan. Do this lightly. If you press too hard the shortbread will suffer. Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden and crisp around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Keep your eye on this. The shortbread can go from perfectly done to over baked in a minute.
Just before shortbread is done, make the topping:
Five minutes before the shortbread is to be taken out of the oven, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring, for one minute. Remove shortbread from oven and pour topping over, tilting pan to cover shortbread evenly.
Cool in pan on a rack for about 20 minutes, then cut the Skibo Crunch into small squares or rectangles. Let the Skibo Crunch cool completely before removing from pan. Then…WOW your guests with this seriously odd cookie.
Let me know if it becomes one of your favorites, too.
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!