Yes, the rumors are true. After years of flirtatious glances, Chocolate and Ginger have finally gotten together. Another Hollywood couple is born and this one without the typical 2-year shelf life of Hollywood romance. That’s right, Chinger is here to stay, folks. I know it might sound like an unlikely combination but these two flavors complement each other like peanut butter and jelly. To prove my point I have two recipes to show you. The first is the closest thing you will find to a healthy dessert. It’s full of Omega 3’s, fiber, anti-oxidants and flavonoids. So load up but watch out, it’s as addicting as an ANTM marathon. (You know, the ones where they start the next episode before taking a commercial break so there is no convenient time for logic to step in and demand you change the channel.)
Too often, when people think of ginger they think of the pink stuff that accompanies your spicy tuna sushi roll. Let me introduce you to one of its cousins (and one of my favorite ingredients), crystallized ginger (a.k.a. candied ginger). It’s sweet, chewy and pretty. You can use it in cookies, brownies, cranberry sauce, chutney, or diced & sprinkled onto oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream.
You can find it for next to nothing in the bulk section or for an arm and a leg in the spice section.
Now for the treat. Dark-Chocolate Bark with Ginger, Walnuts and Dried Cherries.
I love the colors of these ingredients.
Melt the chocolate, nice and slow…
Mix the ingredients and spread on a sheet…
Wait until it cools and break into pieces.
Dark-Chocolate Bark with Ginger, Walnuts and Dried Cherries
1 1/2 cups walnut halves (6 ounces)
1 package 60% Cocao chocolate chips
1 cup dried sour cherries or cranberries (or dried cranberries), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 8 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a glass bowl, heat two-thirds of the chocolate in a microwave oven at high power in 30-second bursts until just melted. Stir until smooth. Stir in the walnuts, cherries and crystallized ginger. Scrape the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread until it is about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle with more ginger for a garnish. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until firm. Break or cut into pieces. Serve cold or at room temperature.
And one more recipe for you cookie lovers.
Chocolate-Ginger Freezer Cookies
2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper (or ground ginger if this scares you)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
crystallized ginger to decorate
Combine cocoa, flours, salt and pepper. Beat butter until creamy, 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and continue beating until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, and ginger until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 3-inch log. Wrap tightly and freeze until hard (up to 2 months). Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut frozen dough into 1/4-inch slices and place on baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Melt the chocolate and cool to a spreading consistency. Spread a little on each cookie and top with crystallized ginger. Makes about 3 dozen.
Ready to give it a try?
For the printable recipe for the Chocolate-Ginger Freezer Cookies ——> CLICK HERE!