Ginger Shortbread

Ginger Shortbread, originally uploaded by super eggplant.

You know, these are the cookies you take to a gathering, and everyone kind of looks at them like, meh, they look kind of sad and lame, but then they bite into one, and shazam! They are blown away!

I wasn’t expecting to like these as much as I do, either. The recipe is from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book, which I love to death and have had for a million years. It wasn’t until the other day, though, that I tried the Ginger Shortbread recipe. I try not to think how much better my life would have been if I had discovered this recipe sooner.

They are super easy to make, and there are no real “specialty” ingredients, so, yes, you can just whip these up whenever you feel like it. Danger!

GINGER SHORTBREAD from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham
Yields 2 dozen wedges

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened (I used unsalted, and I didn’t really soften it)

Preheat the oven to 325F.
Dig up two 8″ round cake pans.

Mix together all the dry ingredients (i.e., everything but the butter) in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and drop them into the dry mix. Use a pastry blender or your fingers and mix the butter in like you’re making a pie dough. You want to blend it in so there are no large chunks of butter. Here’s a tip: I wear surgical gloves to blend the butter. Does that sound crazy or creepy? Who cares, because it works great!

Divide the dough between the two cake pans and press into the pans (again, surgical gloves!). Prick the dough all over with a fork at 1/2″ intervals.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove pans from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then cut each pan into 12 wedges. Carefully lift from pans and cool the shortbread on racks. Yum yum in your tum tum.

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13 Responses to Ginger Shortbread

  1. debbie says:

    omg i have the same book -like you for ages- and never tried these! one thing i did learn from the book is how to make delicious scrambled eggs! hey! wasn’t richie cunningham’s mom named marion too?

  2. That sounds delicious! I think I’ll cut the recipe in half; too dangerous to have all that buttery goodness in the house. No, it’s not creepy to wear gloves; I hate having greasy fingers that don’t feel clean after I wash them. I usually make my shortbread with the mixer and never touch the ingredients! And my scones with a pastry blender, but eventually I have to knead that.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Seanna Lea says:

    I don’t think it is too weird to use gloves. Are your surgical gloves latex or plastic? I have friends with latex allergies, so I’d just touch the ingredients with my scrupulously clean hands (I don’t want to think about how dry my hands get when I’m cooking because of how frequently they are scrubbed).

  4. Jamie says:

    Oh YUM! I bet you could grate a little fresh ginger in too, or maybe add some finely chopped candied ginger, for an extra zing. And I used gloves to chop onions or jalapeno (too many lingering-jalapeno-oil accidents when taking out contact, despite washing!), and to get all the meat off a rotisserie chicken. I HATE have hands that smell like stuff, even after washing thoroughly. Blech. = )

  5. Alma says:

    Hi Mariko! This has nothing to do with the ginger shortbread (though it looks wonderful and I will have to make it. I’m going to be in Portland for the first time (yay) but for a very brief time and I was wondering if you had any tips for cute places to eat or shop, particularly for yarn, in downtown Portland near the Hotel Vintage Plaza).

    I’m in town because I’m reading from my debut novel, The Taker, at the Powells’ Cedar Hills location (Beaverton) on Oct 6th. If anyone you know likes to attend boo kreadings, please send them my way!

  6. Lulu says:

    Hey. Donut. That book reminds me of Spokane like crazy. I use that book every week, I swear. It’s in such bad shape ‘cuz I’m so sloppy. I think we’ve eaten at least 500 loaves of the Great Coffee Cake (vanilla version). I’ll try these, though.

  7. theminx says:

    Gloves are a great idea – sure beats having to wash butter off one’s hands and from under one’s nails!

  8. Wendy says:

    Those cookies are f%@#king awesome. Wearing gloves is weird. What’s wrong with buttery hands? they wash easily.

  9. i think they look awesome. sadly, butter in Japan has gotten expensive and scarce…. empty shelf sometimes and over 350 yen a block… which would make these cookies over 7 bucks just for the butter… i think there is a butter shortage for the future….. good for the hips, not so good for baking!!! but, i could make half a batch!!!

  10. Tina says:

    This sounds delicious and easy! Thanks:)

  11. Oh I looooove ginger! And this recipe is so simple! Def making it tomorrow. I even have some chopped crystallized ginger… I wonder if they would be a good add? mmm Thank for this share!

  12. UPDATE: I made this for my inlaws and grandparent-in-laws – they’re British by the way – and they LOVED it! I added chopped candied ginger and it was great. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  13. Mia says:

    I am so stoked to try this out… I am going to the store to pick up some butter this evening!! This could be a dangerous outcome…

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