Not to harp on about food waste, but I feel like this is my year of being resourceful. After I made the Chocolate and Grapefruit Challah from Breaking Breads, I had some leftover grapefruit confit. I decided to carry on the chocolate and grapefruit theme by creating a biscotti that featured both elements. This Chocolate and Grapefruit Biscottiwas born.
There are few things that give me a pause like baking. I am not a natural baker. I haven’t baked long enough to feel like I can trust my intuition. Yet, nothing draws me like baking. I feel like my lack of skills is a challenge. The only way to get better is to try and try. Study my failures and enjoy my successes. Baking this walnut ginger shortbread was definitely a success.
A lot of what I do in terms of food is re-imagining things that I have seen. I try to change the details so that the core is the same but the experience of food shifts. This particular shortbread recipe is based upon the master shortbread recipe on the New York Times Cooking site. I find that recipe to be a good place to start when making shortbread because I have used it many times.
However, when I started thinking of this walnut ginger shortbread, I knew I had to look beyond just dumping in the ingredients. I wanted them to blend into the shortbread recipe and let it become it own thing. Hence, I made some adjustment to the recipe, not just the ingredients but the technique as well. The changes I have made reflect the way I enjoy food; both the cooking and eating.
Despite the nut in the walnut ginger shortbread, I want to still have a smooth experience in the mouth. This meant finding a way to turn the walnut into a sort of flour instead of lumps studded into the dough. The crystallized ginger is a homage to Walker’s version of the Ginger Shortbread. The ginger is also chopped finely so that the dough remains smooth.
One finally note I will make about the process of figuring out this cookie is the baking temperature. I played around with the baking temperature until I arrived at a temperature and timing that gave just the right amount of browning. I hope you try out the recipe for the walnut ginger shortbread. It is really easy but produces a cookie that is marvelous with tea.
A melt-in-the-mouth shortbread cookie with crystalline ginger
Keyword: Cookies, ginger, shortbread, walnut
1/2CupCrystallized Gingerchopped into tiny bits
11/4Cup All purpose flour
1egg yolkroom temperature
In a bowl, combine the sugar, ginger, walnut flour, all-purpose flour and corn flour with salt.
Cream the butter and the egg yolk together until fluffy.
Add in the flour mixture, about 2 tbsp at a time, and mix gently. Don’t mix too much so that the cookie remains flakey.
When flour and butter mixture is incorporated, pour the dough on parchment paper and gently roll into a log.
It is time to chill the cookie dough. I prefer to have the dough in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours but four hours is the recommended minimum. The dough would last in the freezer for a couple of months. If you freeze, bring out cookie dough into a refrigerator at least a couple of hours before baking.
When it is time to bake, preheat oven to 300F.
To bake the walnut ginger shortbread, cut the log into 1/4 inch thick coins. Place on a baking tray, preferably lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. The shortbread can be baked longer if you prefer a bit more color on the cookies.