Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baking Blitz - Ginger Kisses

Today's recipe is somewhat topical, in a punny way - my baking is slightly more affectionate but still 'ginga' - so I was amused to see 'Hug a Ginga Day' getting some negative media coverage this evening.

Anyway, back to a less controversial use of ginger - the ginger kiss. I'm not sure if these are common in other parts of the world (please inform me, overseas readers!) but they are definitely a popular item on the biscuit shelves in New Zealand supermarkets. I had never had homemade ones before, and then I spied a recipe in Alison Holst's 100 favourite cakes & biscuits, and I had to give them a shot.

My first try was over the weekend, along with some other sweets I baked to trial as potential high tea fare, but I felt they were a bit flat, and didn't have enough filling (in fact, I ended up with quite a few shells left over after filling them, as I am obviously more generous with my filling than the wonderful Mrs Holst). The recipe suggested adding more flour if they turned out too flat, so I gave them another shot today in my lunch hour, and if the response from my colleagues was anything to go by they definitely worked!

The recipe is super easy, and they bake very quickly - the trickiest bit is not letting them cook too long, and working out when to take them out of the oven - but all of mine were fine, and though I thought one batch today was a bit overcooked they were raved about for being crisp and soft all at once by two colleagues - so you really can't go wrong. ;-)

Ginger Kisses (makes about 18)
125g softened butter
1/4 cup + 2 tsp sugar
1 large egg
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 rounded dessertspoon golden syrup
80g or 1/2 cup + 1.5 Tbsp flour
75g or 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Heat the oven to 220 C, with the rack just below the middle. Line a baking tray with teflon or baking paper. Put the first six ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth and light coloured (you can do this in a food processor if you prefer).

Measure the dry ingredients carefully, directly into the bowl (or food processor). Beat or process until just smooth. Spoon mixture into a piping bag with a plain nozzle about 15mm wide, or shape small even blobs with a spoon. Each 'blob' should be about the size of a half walnut shell. They need space between them and will need two oven trays.

Place in the oven. Turn the heat down 10 C as soon as they are in. Bake for about 5 minutes, until they spring back when pressed (or you can see they are cooked through). Watch carefully to ensure they don't burn.

Mock cream filling
100g butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
about 2 Tbsp water

Beat butter, vanilla and sugar with 2 Tbsp hot water until smooth. Add about 2 Tbsp cold water gradually, while beating. You should end up with a light coloured fluffy cream.

When the biscuits are cool pipe or spoon filling onto half of them, then sandwich together (play mix and match to fit like-sized ones together). Enjoy!

What's the best homemade version of a store-bought baked good you know?


  1. very belated comment, but you know how it goes, following links and all that...

    anyway, you asked for info re: ginger kisses overseas, and I must say I'd never seen them in the US. I've not lived there for 7 years, though (and it's a really big place!), so I may not be the definitive source...

    I'm hungry now.

  2. Thanks! Interesting to hear that you haven't seen them in the US - I've noticed there's a big 'whoopie pie' trend on in the food blogosphere at the moment and they seem similar, just with different flavours I guess (though I am yet to make a whoopie pie recipe so could be wrong there too). Thanks for commenting! :-)


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