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
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.
Walnut and Ginger Shortbread
- 1 Stick Butter room temperature
- 1/2 Cup Walnut Flour
- 1/2 Cup Crystallized Ginger chopped into tiny bits
- 11/4 Cup All purpose flour
- 1/4 Cup Corn Flour
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 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.