Ginger Shortbread with White Chocolate Drizzle

This year I participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, an event now in its third year. The concept is pretty simple, food bloggers from several countries submit their information to the organizers. For a small fee each blogger is matched with three other bloggers. Each person bakes three dozen cookies and sends a dozen off to each match and in return receives three dozen different cookies to taste and share. The best part is the entry fees go to Cookies for Kids' Cancer, an organization that funds therapies to treat pediatric cancers. This year, along with sponsor matches, the event raised nearly $14,000.



The recipe I selected came from a friend. Her description was, "sounds like a nothing cookie, but the taste is amazing." She got the recipe from a co-worker back in 1996 and could only give me the picture of the original recipe. It was clearly cut from a magazine or newspaper but she doesn't know where it originated. I searched the Internet for awhile but couldn't find a recipe quite like it.

My friend was right. When you look at the recipe it's so easy and there's not much to it but the result is delicious. My friend also told me that she uses the shortbread as a secret ingredient in other recipes - I promised not to reveal them :)

The original recipe
Just a few simple ingredients

I started by sifting the dry ingredients. The recipe doesn't call for it but I sometimes find there are hard bits in the brown sugar and I wanted to be sure to leave those out.


Then I cut in the butter by hand using a pastry blender. I suppose you could use a food processor but it didn't seem necessary.


And finally I mixed in the chopped crystallized ginger.


The cookie mixture is placed in a buttered 9" x 13" pan. I found through a little trial and error that pressing it firmly in the pan is better because the cookies are fairly crumbly.



For the cookie swap I decided to tjuz it up a little and cut the shortbread into fingers and added a little white chocolate drizzle.


As I mentioned, the cookies are crumbly so there were a few mishaps, better known as "cook's treats," that occurred along the way. But I'm happy with how they turned out and I hope the recipients enjoyed them too.


Ready for shipping

For my portion of the swap I received:

Please check out these beautiful blogs.

And finally, thanks again to Lindsay (Love & Olive Oil) and Julie (The Little Kitchen) for organizing this great event. I'm looking forward to next year!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

Ginger Shortbread with White Chocolate Drizzle


Ingredients

2¼ cups flour
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (½ pound) butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and slightly softened
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
½ cup white chocolate chips for drizzling

Directions

For the shortbread:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 13” x 9” baking pan.

Combine flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl (I sift the mixture even if it doesn’t call for it to catch any hard bits of brown sugar that sometimes form). Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture makes fine crumbs (this could be done in a food processor but be careful not to over process). Add the crystallized ginger and stir with a fork to blend evenly.

With lightly floured finger-tips (I don’t think flouring is necessary), press the mixture into the prepared baking pan in an even layer (I pack the mixture pretty firmly). Bake on the center rack for about 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. (The original recipe called for 20 minutes but in my oven, which runs just a few degrees hot, I got better results leaving it in for 25 minutes.) Cool in the pan before cutting into narrow bars (it might be better to let them sit overnight to be sure they’re set).

For the drizzle:

Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave for 30-45 seconds (watch it carefully so it doesn't burn, time will depend on your microwave). Using a fork, drizzle the cut bars with the chocolate. Place a wax-paper lined tray and put into the refrigerator to set.

Makes 24-30 bars.


Happy Holidays!!


Comments

Laura said…
We got some of these cookies over at The Table Blog and they were yummy! Strangely enough, one if our cookies also contained crystallized ginger. Good stuff! Thanks!
These were great! I will definitely make them at home!
Kayleigh said…
Sound amazing! I love ginger and shortbread, so both together would be wonderful. Gotta try em out.