There is just enough time today to make my favorite Christmas cookie -- Candied Ginger Cardamom Bars. This is the one I love to eat Christmas morning with a gallon of Irish Breakfast tea. It is like a dense, sticky, gingery, spicy shortbread. Jingle my bells!
REQUEST: Also, I am looking for a recipe for a crumb-topped coffee cake that uses berries in it. I have some frozen blackberries left over from summer and have it fixed in my head to use them in a coffee cake for Christmas morning. Any ideas? Please pass them on.
I got this cookie recipe from a friend who had copied it out of the December 2002 issue of Bon Appétit, from the Entertaining Made Easy column. It pops up online with a google search (doesn't everything?) but not from the Bon Appétit website.
CANDIED GINGER CARDAMOM BARS
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 ½ large egg, beaten to blend
1+ cups finely chopped crystallized ginger (about 7 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9 x 12-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Blend flour, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in processor. Add butter; using on/off turns, process until coarse meal forms. Add 2 tablespoons beaten egg; blend until moist crumbs form. Add ginger. Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form.
Press dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Brush remaining beaten egg over dough. Using small sharp knife, score top of dough with diagonal lines spaced 1 inch apart. Repeat in opposite direction, forming lattice pattern.
Bake until pastry is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely in pan. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)
Cut pastry square into 3 long rectangles. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 8 rectangular bars, making 24 bars total.
NOTE: I realize that I bought some kind of chewy ginger from Trader Joes that isn't "crystallized" or candied. So I am just going to add a little sugar to the recipe and hope it turns out.