Ever since discovering fresh ginger years ago, this has been one of my top go-to ingredients in both savory and sweet dishes. I LOVE ginger with chicken and seafood and absolutely adore it in baked goods. Well one day I wanted to get all kinds of crazy with it and push my ginger limit to the extreme. Since I already had fresh and ground ginger on hand I wanted to see how I could incorporate crystallized ginger into a recipe with the other two.
*Note – even though it looks like candy, crystallized ginger that is, I would highly discourage you from eating a big ol honkin’ piece of it. It’s hot.. no, like it’s HOT! I just about died because there is a point where too much of a good thing is just wrong! So yeah, this child does not eat it as candy. LOL
Ginger is one of those ingredients that doesn’t become ‘popular’ until the fall/winter months. Maybe because it has that underlying warmth to it both in flavor and smell. Even ginger candles burning seem to be popular in the colder times of the years. *shrugs* Doesn’t matter to me really what time of year it is. I cook with it all year round and yes, even burn ginger candles in the summer.
Now these bars happened by accident really. See I wanted more of a biscotti type cookie however every time I made these they turned out chewy despite how I tweaked the recipe. Finally I gave in and let the universe control this one. They wanted me to make chewy ginger bars. Thank you universe as these are one of my more favorite ‘mistakes’.
Normally when a recipe goes bad or should I say doesn’t turn out like how I picture it in my head I’ll pitch the end result (I tend to make test recipes in very, VERY small batches – like 2-4 cookies) however every time I made these they got more and more awesome. Yet as I said they weren’t matching what I had in my head. The only thing is, I didn’t pitch the end result – I ate it or took it into work. They, loved these and kept telling me to ‘screw up more’. LOL Finally like I said I gave in and realized that my ‘fail’ was a great success in hiding and that I created something pretty freaking awesome tasting.
So like any good baker, I made a few more normal size batches leading up to this recipe. If you’re looking for something totally yummy and seriously, smells AMAZING then make these!
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- I tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 5 Tbl unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup whitesugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbl peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 cup pecans
- 3–4 Tbl coarse sanding sugar
- White chocolate ganache
- Preheat the oven to 325F with the rack in the middle.
- Spray a 9×9 pan with spray.
- Line with parchment paper leaving a 1” band hang over top (this will help in lifting them out of the pan).
- Lightly spray the paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Beat in the fresh ginger and vanilla extract.
- At low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until blended.
- Stir in the crystallized ginger and pecans and mix until combined.
- Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and using slightly damp hands, flatted to make even.
- Liberally sprinkle with the sanding sugar.
- Bake for 18-23 minutes or until the top is slightly brown and semi-firm to the touch (will have some give).
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
- Gently lift the bars out of the pan by using the parchment paper and set on a hard surface.
- While still warm cut into bars.
- Transfer the bars to wire racks and cool completely.
- Once cooled drizzle with white chocolate ganache.