For this month's Taste & Create, I am partnered with Divya of Dil Se. Divya is of Indian (Asian) descent. She, like me, somehow found her way here to the U.S. She is based in California, which is a melting pot of different cultures from all over the world. No wonder why her blog reflects this mix of Indian as well as American/Western cuisine.
It was easy for me to decide which one to do for the event. When I saw this in Divya's blog and read the recipe, it made my mouth water. That's a good sign, isn't it? So, I thought no further... Ginger Cookies it is!
Ginger is one of the most common spice for Asian cooking. The root has a strong, pungent flavor, while the dried/powdered ones have this sweet-spicy smell to it. A lot of Westerners do not really like it, or can't stand much of it in a dish. The flavor is indeed very strong when one is not used to it.
As for me, I grew up with it, so I love its flavor. Ginger also happens to have lot of medical benefits as well. In the Philippines, we have a traditional drink called "Salabat" which is made from boiling ginger roots in water (with a bit of sugar). I remember my Mom used to make this concoction for me whenever I get colds. Just try and see how effective it is. And hey, drinking salabat has a side benefit. It is supposedly good for your singing voice! So whether you're a professional singer or just a huge Karaoke singing enthusiast (like most Filipinos are), I urge you to try this and see if you won't be belting out tunes in no time. Hahaha.. (How about that, Susan of SGCC?)
While I love ginger in savory dishes, I love it in sweets just as much. For instance, gingerbread. I love this holiday treat but I've never gotten around to try baking one from scratch. And I thought that this cookie might have the same taste as that of gingerbread, so I decided to do it.
The recipe was easy and very simple. There was nothing more that I did to it; I simply thought of adding cyrstallized (candied) ginger on top for more flavor (and for looks too).
And boy was I right. The cookies have the same flavor going on as gingerbread with the combined spices of cinnamon, ground cloves and the ginger in it. The ginger candy at the center gives you that nice sweet-spicy-chewy bite that's just enough to give this cookie a little kick. Hmmmn.... the flavors of Christmas -- they're happy flavors!
Next time maybe, I'd minced the candied ginger and mix it in the batter so there'll be little specs of ginger goodness all throughout the cookie... what do you think?
This recipe is definitely a keeper. I will for sure be making lots of these come Christmas holidays. Thanks, Divya for a great recipe. No wonder why you love these cookies! And I love 'em too.
Maybe this will be Santa's new favorite cookie too?
(Taste & Create is a monthly food event created by Nicole of For The Love Of Food. Bloggers are paired off with one another and they have to do a recipe of their choice from each other...and of course, blog about it!)