Chinger?

23 Comments
posted on September 13, 2011 by  |  posted under Desserts, Recipes

 Chocolate and Ginger

Chocolate and Ginger

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.

Chocolate and Ginger

You can find it for next to nothing in the bulk section or for an arm and a leg in the spice section.

Chocolate and Ginger

Now for the treat.  Dark-Chocolate Bark with Ginger, Walnuts and Dried Cherries.

I love the colors of these ingredients.

Chocolate and Ginger

Melt the chocolate, nice and slow…

Chocolate and Ginger

Mix the ingredients and spread on a sheet…

Chocolate and Ginger

Wait until it cools and break into pieces.

Chocolate and Ginger

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.

Chocolate and Ginger

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.

Chocolate and Ginger

Ready to give it a try?

Dark-Chocolate Bark with Ginger, Walnuts and Dried Cherries

Dark-Chocolate Bark with Ginger, Walnuts and Dried Cherries

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 8 minutes, until golden and fragrant.
  3. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  4. In a glass bowl, heat two-thirds of the chocolate in a microwave oven at high power in 30-second bursts until just melted.
  5. Stir until smooth.
  6. Stir in the walnuts, cherries and crystallized ginger.
  7. Scrape the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread until it is about ¼ inch thick.
  8. Sprinkle with more ginger for a garnish.
  9. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until firm.
  10. Break or cut into pieces.
  11. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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For the printable recipe for the Chocolate-Ginger Freezer Cookies ——> CLICK HERE!

 Chocolate and Ginger

23 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. September 13th, 2011 at 6:03 am
    Sara says:
    Mmmmmmm. These combinations look delicious!! That little girl sure is incredibly adorable. I wonder who her mom is??:)
    • September 14th, 2011 at 8:16 am
      Sarah says:
      I don't know but I bet she's as cute as her daughter. :)
  2. September 13th, 2011 at 8:10 am
    Jill Jackson says:
    So excited to give these a try. I've been searching for a healthy-er dessert for while. Trying to be healthy while pregnant just isn't easy. :) Thanks for the great dessert ideas. I'll be trying these this weekend!
    • September 14th, 2011 at 6:27 pm
      Missy says:
      Just so you can feel even better about eating this treat - ginger is supposed to help with morning sickness! I crave it when I am pregnant.
  3. September 13th, 2011 at 10:14 am
    Shelley says:
    Um... yes please. I love your writing style btw. :)
  4. September 13th, 2011 at 12:40 pm
    Kristen Duke Photography says:
    sounds very fascinating! Is it really cheaper in bulk like that???
    • September 14th, 2011 at 8:16 am
      Sarah says:
      Absolutely. A McCormick spice jar will cost $10-$12 dollars. A scoop about the same size is about a dollar. (Depending on the store, of course. But that's at a fancy shmancy store so I think your chances are good.)
  5. September 13th, 2011 at 2:39 pm
    Joan says:
    Awesome recipes. I especially like the pepper in that chocolate-ginger cookie. YUM! Cute pictures.
  6. September 14th, 2011 at 7:41 am
    Michelle {Fun On A Dime} says:
    Okay, that looks fabulous! And maybe I shouldn't be looking at this before I eat breakfast? lol Thanks for the recipe!
  7. September 14th, 2011 at 6:25 pm
    Missy says:
    My very favorite treat from Trader Joe's (and almost everything is good) is the chocolate covered ginger. So YUMMY! We don't have a Trader Joe's in Idaho so I have to rely on my husband's travel to get stocked u, but no more!!! You saved me Sarah! I am so trying this!
  8. September 14th, 2011 at 6:38 pm
    Erin says:
    OK, WHERE can I get crystallized ginger in bulk?!?!?!?! That is awesome!!!
    • September 16th, 2011 at 2:02 pm
      Sarah says:
      Believe it or not that picture was taken at the Boise Winnco. Here in Virginia I get it at a Kroger Market. I haven't check Whole Foods but it wouldn't surprise me to find it there since they have such an extensive bulk section. I'd love for a confirmation on that if anyone goes!
  9. September 14th, 2011 at 8:33 pm
    Whitney says:
    Sounds good! And i've tried the chocolate bark and have to say it is delicious. Can't wait to try the cookies and like Missy, I too crave Trader Joe's all the time so maybe this will be a good substitute.
    • September 16th, 2011 at 2:04 pm
      Sarah says:
      I don't know what life would be like without TJ's.
  10. September 15th, 2011 at 4:41 am
    Fi says:
    Hmmm, busy making my own candied ginger as I type (on day six of the process!). You seem to have left out a step - adding the butter I think - cause you can beat cocoa, flour, salt and pepper for as long as you like and it wont go creamy!Heh heh.
    • September 16th, 2011 at 2:06 pm
      Sarah says:
      Making your own candied ginger? I've never thought of that. You'll have to let me know how that goes.
  11. September 15th, 2011 at 2:34 pm
    Suzanne Russell says:
    Hooray for Chingers! I will even buy the healthy label just to have such deliciousness in my own kitchen. This is flavor genius!
  12. September 16th, 2011 at 11:30 am
    Debby says:
    Do you use the whole package of chocolate chips or just 2/3? I'm sure it will work either way, but I wanted to follow the recipe. And I hope to make it today!
    • September 16th, 2011 at 2:05 pm
      Sarah says:
      I make it with the entire bag but 2/3 will work just fine. I actually bump up the ginger content quite a bit in mine. It's really all about how dense you want the mix-ins to be.
      • September 17th, 2011 at 7:47 am
        Debby says:
        I used only 2/3 of the bag and it covered the mix-ins, but just. It is not a layer of chocolate with stuff mixed in, but clumps of chocolate-covered goodies. Although I made it to send to my daughter, I did make sure it tasted ok. :) It did! It was not very gingery at all. Next time I, too, will "bump up the ginger content quite a bit." BUT there WILL be a next time! It is delicious. Soon I'll try the other recipe! Thank you.
  13. September 18th, 2011 at 11:40 am
    Leslie says:
    The best thing about adding "candied" in front of anything, is kids will fight their way to the bowl. I love your mixture! Thanks for sharing!
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