Ginger Butter Tea Cookies

I found this recipe quite a while back on Culinate.      The editors state:

A very elegant and simple cookie, this is the perfect choice to accompany that cup of fragrant tea. Spiced with ginger and orange zest, it is also a happy match for all of our other cookies.

I immediately thought, “What a great cookie to pair with some favorite tea and gift.”   Because, you see, I am all about gifting anything and everything at this moment.   Perhaps I should say making and gifting everything.

I happened to make a casual run to Target Saturday for some gift bags.   Oh my griefness!   What a cluster!   Traffic was backed up on the off ramp, traffic lights and cashiers were not keeping up, and people were rushing around with huge carts jammed packed with gift items.

I wanted to grab the bell from the Salvation Army ringer and make a scene, stepping into the center aisle and yelling,  “Go home and make something that will be cherished (or eaten and enjoyed)!   Don’t buy all this stuff that nobody really needs or wants!”    Honestly, though, I was rushing around just like everyone else simply trying to score three little gift bags.   I didn’t have time for any more commotion.

Whew!  I need a cup of tea and one of these cookies to unwind.

 Ginger Butter Tea Cookies
slightly adapted from Crystallized Ginger Butter Squares from The China Moon Cookbook

1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/3 c. sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 c. plus 1 T. flour
2.5 oz.  crystallized ginger, chopped fine (divided)
1 t. orange zest, finely grated

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Chop the ginger fine.

Again (according to Culinate), “Be sure to give the orange a good soapy scrub and an equally good rinse before grating.  It will taste zestier and brighter for the bath.”    We definitely want a bright, zesty and happy orange for this recipe!

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg yolk and mix until blended. Add the flour, 1/3 c. ginger, and orange zest, and mix until combined, about 2 minutes.  You will need to run your mixer for at least 2 minutes until the dough comes together.

Gather the dough together and place on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a log.  Use the plastic wrap to help shape the sticky dough. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

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May refrigerate over night, too.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Move a rack to the top third of the oven. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1/4 inch slices.   Place the cookies ½ inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.   Sprinkle with the remaining ginger pieces and press the pieces in slightly.

One sheet at a time, bake until the cookies are firm and the edges are lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets set on wire racks.

The original recipe calls to “Shape and mold into a 4-by-4½-inch block, 1 inch thick” and then to “cut the block of dough into four 1-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip into ¼-inch-wide slices. ”

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Ginger butter tea cookies

Note that I did not shape mine into the square block.  I am just not a good dough shaper.  (Remember my Pan de Muerto debacle?)    I simply formed mine into a log, chilled, and sliced.   I also added the extra ginger on top before I baked.

The possibilities for gifting these cookies are endless:   with a tea pot, with tea bags, with a dessert wine, in a tea cup.   The possibilities of adapting this basic recipe to other flavors are endless as well:   lime and ginger, lemon and almonds, a basic pecan short bread (with maybe a bit of hazelnut liquor)…

This recipe can be found in  China Moon Cookbook by Barbara Tropp.

Only eight days left!  (Please don’t spend it rushing around if at all possible.)

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