I was introduced to this stellar David Lebovitz recipe by my fellow Alaska food blogger friend Nicole. She affectionately calls these cookies “ginger crack.”
As the story goes, Mr. Lebovitz was handed this recipe at a public event by a woman from New Zealand. She claimed that the cookies were amazing and urged him to try them. And she was right. I know I’m not hardly as well-known or well-followed as David Lebovitz (that’s a laugh!), but do me a favor: if you happen to see me in public, please, please, please pass me a recipe like this one! No, really. I will love you forever.
When you first mix up the dough, it will be so crumbly (seen in the upper left photo above) that you’ll think you did something wrong. You didn’t. It presses beautifully into the pan, as seen in the upper right. While Mr. Lebovitz and my friend Nicole both recommend baking these in a rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom, I only have a traditional round tart pan, so that is what I used. If you have rectangular, use that (I’ve added one to my Amazon wish list after this recipe). If not, the round pan works nicely in its place.
We’re having company the next couple of weeks – my sister, her husband, and my niece from California – and I made sure to have a fresh batch of these ready and waiting on the counter when they arrived at our home. The shortbread is tender and buttery with a little crunch just on the golden edges, the glaze is sweet and soft, and the entire morsel packs a ginger punch with ginger in every layer. I’m also quite sure I’ll be adding these to my regular baking rotation closer to the holidays, because these cookies would make lovely gifts.
Adapted from [David Lebovitz|http://alaskascratch.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_6628.jpg] via [Arctic Garden Studio|http://arcticgardenstudio.blogspot.com/2013/01/ginger-crunch-aka-ginger-crack.html].
Yields: About 24 bars
- For the Shortbread:
- 9 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- For the Glaze:
- 5 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- For the Topping:
- fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 13x4-inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom or a 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar at medium-high until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and ginger. Turn down your mixer and incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Mixture will be very crumbly.
Pour the crumbly mixture into the tart pan. Press the dough evenly and firmly into the pan and into the scalloped grooves. Place the tart pan on a sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes until set and golden on the edges.
Just shortly before the shortbread is ready (about 5-7 minutes before), melt the butter in a small saucepan with the Golden Syrup. When it is melted and bubbling, quickly whisk in the powdered sugar and ginger, stirring until smooth. Pour the glaze over the shortbread as soon as it comes out of the oven, spreading it to cover the shortbread entirely. Immediately sprinkle the top of the glaze with fine sea salt and crystallized ginger. Allow the glaze to set for about 20 minutes. Remove the shortbread from the pan while still warm and gently slice into bars.