This is a British-Australian treat, where crumbly, buttery, shortbread gets a thin spicy glaze that has the kick of ginger. The comfort of the shortbread makes it taste really familiar, but the ginger gives it a really unexpected, almost transient quality to it. I found it addicting, and so did the rest of my family--the day the last slice was gone, my Dad asked me in a wanna-be-nonchalent-way if "I was planning on making it again soon, perhaps sometime again this week?" :)
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Adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes 1 9-inch pan
I made mine in a 9-inch cake pan, though next time I would use my 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. As I write below, if using a regular cake pan, it’s handy to line it with aluminum foil first to make a sort of “sling” you can pull the shortbread out with when done. David uses a rectangular tart pan, which I would use if I had one. Feel free to use one if you have one, though
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried ginger
9 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablepoons finely chopped candied ginger, crystallized or not
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (or, like me, fit aluminum foil into a regular 9-inch cake pan and then coat that with butter). Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger in a medium bowl.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the mixture, and continue to mix until well-combined, about 1 minute.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough so that it comes together and is relatively smooth. It will be naturally crumbly; don’t worry about that. Press the dough evenly down into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
About 5 minutes before the dough is done, make the icing. Heat the 5 tablespoons butter and honey together in a medium bowl in the microwave until melted, about 15 seconds or so. Add in the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon ginger, stirring until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain.
As soon as the shortbread comes out of the oven, pour the warm icing over it. Let sit to set up for about 15 minutes or so, then sprinkle the chopped candied ginger (somewhat) evenly over the icing. Place in the fridge to set up, about 20 minutes. To serve, remove from pan (using the removeable bottom or aluminum sling) and cut into slices. I liked it both cold and at room temperature.