I have been a member of The Secret Recipe Club for a little over 3 years, and never get tired of it! Getting assigned a food blog every month to cook from is so much fun, because it exposes you to different styles of cooking and of course opens the horizons to new sites that could otherwise go unnoticed. Every year, the club takes a break for the holidays, so groups C and D do not post in December. However, instead of taking a break this year, Sarah, the club’s Owner – and Resident Saint who keeps our boats sailing smoothly – came up with a different twist: both groups would be joined in a single event, a Cookie Carnival Swap. Participation would not be mandatory, so that those who prefer to sit back and relax could do so. Me? Sitting out? No way. So, this month we have a huge event with 60 food bloggers! As usual, we were assigned a blog in secret, and had to pick a cookie recipe to make and blog about. My assigned blog, Culinary Adventures with Camilla, was a ton of fun to stalk! One of the things I loved about her site is that she designs all her recipes. Nothing from cookbooks or cooking shows. That is beyond impressive. Camilla describes herself as a “tree-hugging, veggie-crunching, jewelry-designing mean mommy who loves to cook but hates to clean”. She is also a freelance writer and photographer for Edible Monterey Bay. Is that cool or what?
I had a tough time deciding between three cookies: Faux-reos, Salted Mayan Chocolate, and Spiced Honey-Ginger Cookies. You must stop by and read about her Oreo Cookie experience, she was sort of challenged to make them from scratch, and admitted she had never even tried a Oreo until then. Talk about a challenge! Still, my love for spices made me choose the last one. Plus, since the recipe called for ginger syrup, it gave me the opportunity of making it myself, something I’ve been meaning to try for years.
SPICED HONEY-GINGER COOKIES
(slightly modified from Culinary Adventures with Camilla)
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 C butter, at room temperature
1 cup raw turbinado sugar
1/4 cup ginger syrup (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons honey (I used acacia honey)
(adapted from many sources)
4 ounces fresh ginger, unpeeled
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Cut the ginger into small pieces. Place the ginger pieces with water, sugar, and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce to a low simmer, and cook for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Let cool, then strain the syrup through. Store the strained syrup in the refrigerator, covered. It should keep for a couple of weeks.
to print the ginger syrup recipe, click here
These cookies were absolutely delicious, and perfect for this time of the year. If you like gingersnaps, they will please you because they are similar, but the cardamon takes them in a slightly different direction. On a side note, every time I open the bottle of cardamon I get mesmerized by its intense, delicious smell. Truly addictive for me. I reduced the amount of ginger powder called for in the recipe because my syrup seemed very powerful. Do not be alarmed by the amount of sugar in the recipe: one cup of sugar plus the syrup, and honey. The cookies end up with a perfect balance of spice and sweetness.
I took the full batch (about 35 cookies) to our department, and once again they were a huge hit. They seem pretty humble and harmless, but once you grab the first one it is impossible not to go back for more.
The ginger syrup was a fun culinary project that made our home smell terrific on a gray Saturday afternoon. You will have more than you need for the cookies, so consider making homemade ginger ale: just add a little syrup to a glass with some ice cubes, squirt a little lime juice, and fill the glass with carbonated water or club soda. If the temperature outside was not so polar-bear-friendly, I would have a glass right now.
Camilla, you have a great food blog, and I’ll be visiting you often from now on. I hope you also had a blast with your assignment… As a note to my readers, at this time of the year cookies are in everyone’s mind, so click on the blue frog for a serious collection of goodies made by my fellow virtual friends from The Secret Recipe Club.
Sarah, thanks for organizing this event, saving me from a horrible SRC withdrawn episode!
ONE YEAR AGO: A Simple Taco to Remember
TWO YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with Homemade Calzones
THREE YEARS AGO: Plum-Glazed Duck Breasts
FOUR YEARS AGO: Holiday Double-Decker
FIVE YEARS AGO: New York Deli Rye