Monday, March 7, 2011

Skibo Castle Ginger Crunch

Recently my daughter's school had "International Day" and all the kids were supposed to dress in clothes from their native country. We had several countries to choose from, but we went with Scotland because it was the easiest to dress (plaid and you're done). 

Then came the realization that we also had to bring in food from that country. Haggis sprang to mind (and then sprang right out again). I saw a recipe for a Scotch whiskey chocolate cake that looked really good (but even I'm not that inappropriate).

So I went with Skibo Castle Ginger Crunch (a shortbread with ginger caramel on top). I don't know if they really eat much of this in Scotland, but the author of the recipe, Doon Fergusson-Howlett, says it was a Christmas teatime favorite when he cooked in castles in Scotland and that was good enough for me (and so was the shortbread)!

Yield: 64

shortbread base:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Lyle's Golden Syrup (British cane sugar syrup)*
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*available in the baking or International aisle of most supermarkets

1.      Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a 13- by 9-inch metal baking pan.
2.      Make shortbread base: Sift together dry ingredients and blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press evenly into bottom of pan (base will be thin). Bake in middle of oven until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.
3.      Make topping just before shortbread is done: Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring, for 30 seconds.
4.      Pour topping: Remove shortbread from oven and pour topping over, tilting pan to cover shortbread evenly. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then cut into small rectangles (8 rows lengthwise and 8 crosswise) while still slightly warm. Cool completely before serving.

recipe from Doon Fergusson-Howlett (Dublin, Ireland)
shortbread crumbs
shortbread dough patted down
shortbread dough baked
topping simmering
topping cooling
cut into bars
ready for crunching



Randi said...

I'm drooling.

And awed by how neat and uniform the cookies are.

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

There are things that I star in google reader to come back to later, and then there are things that send me to my cabinets to make sure I have all the ingredients to make right now. This one definitely falls into the 'right now' category. Darn it! You're good.

Andria Crowjoy said...

Hmm, wonder if I could sub the golden syrup with our homemade maple.

Susan said...

I'm sure you could use maple, of course the flavor will be slightly different. Hopefully the texture won't suffer much since it's only one tablespoon.

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

I made these last week and they were insanely good. I'm going to try them again but with the maple syrup and cinnamon instead of the ginger just for the fun of it. Man, they were good. And so easy to make it's crazy.

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