buttery gingernut cookies

Buttery Gingernut Cookies / The Clever Carrot

What on earth is a gingernut?

I came across a recipe in Donna Hay magazine for gingernut cookies. They looked so buttery and delicious that I just had to have them! But I was confused; did she mean gingersnap? Nope. Gingernut. Google please.

Buttery Gingernut Cookies / The Clever CarrotBasically a gingernut is a buttery, crisp cookie flavored with ground ginger. My googling revealed that some gingernuts will often contain cinnamon, cloves, and golden syrup. To me that’s a gingersnap. But in the UK (among other countries) it is called a gingernut. To make matters even more confusing, the term gingernuts and gingersnaps are used interchangeably. Still with me? Good.

So about those cookies…

Buttery Gingernut Cookies / The Clever Carrot

I swapped out brown sugar for Muscovado and decreased the total amount (they were a little too sweet). Muscovado sugar is similar to brown sugar but more toffee-like in flavor. Although more expensive, I think it’s worth the upgrade for its unique taste.

Incidentally, do you know how to soften sugar when it hardens? I learned a cool trick- simply put the sugar in a bowl and pop it into the microwave with a mug of water. Heat for about 15-30 seconds and the steam from the water will soften up your sugar. Works like a charm!

Muscovado Sugar / The Clever Carrot

Other than that…

Buttery Gingernut Cookies / The Clever Carrot

I think I’m in love with the gingernut.

No matter what you want to call them, I thought that Donna’s recipe was a winner. These cookies are incredibly buttery and I love the subtle ginger flavor. Really, it’s the texture that truly won me over. Thin, crisp and flat out addicting. Perfect for dunking too.

Do you make gingernut cookies? Share your recipe here!

buttery gingernut cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1½ sticks of salted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. brown sugar (dark or light) or Muscovado
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ c. flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger, sifted
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. sanding sugar, Turbinado sugar or Sugar in the Raw
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make sure that your butter is room temperature. Soften in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds if need be.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Do not skip this step as the creaming method incorporates air into the batter helping to create its texture.
  4. Add the egg and continue to beat until well blended.
  5. Working over a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger and baking soda. If you are using salt, add it now. *See notes.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, gently pour the dry ingredients into the bowl working in batches. Mix until just combined.
  7. Roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and then roll in the sanding sugar. Place onto the lined cookie sheet leaving room to spread, about 2 inches apart. Sometimes the dough will be too sticky to roll. If this happens, simply scoop out the dough using a small cookie scoop (or tablespoon) onto the cookie sheet. Sprinkle a generous amount of sugar on top. Either method will work.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden. Cool on wire racks.
Notes
If using unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon of fine grain salt (table salt) to the dry ingredients.

buttermilk cornbread

Buttermilk Cornbread | The Clever Carrot

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a big old basket of cornbread, right?

As much as I love cornbread, I definitely don’t make it enough. It debuts during the holiday season, only to resurface as blueberry cornmeal muffins over the summer. What’s left in between is a bottomless bag of yellow cornmeal and fruitless ideas. But since I have an incredible habit of re-doing, changing, fiddling around with recipes, I now present my buttermilk cornbread.

This cornbread is fairly crumbly in texture but sturdy enough to cut into thick slices. The corner pieces are crunchy around the edges and the center is soft. The addition of buttermilk keeps everything nice and moist too. I’m totally content with eating it plain, but who am I kidding? A good smear of warm butter over the top doesn’t hurt.

Buttermilk Cornbread | The Clever Carrot

Cornbread tastes best on the day that it is made. If want to make this ahead of time, simply measure out your wet and dry ingredients the night before (keep them separate) and bake it off in the morning. Make sure to use an 8×8 pan if you want thick slices whereas a traditional 9×13 pan will give you thinner ones. Serve warm from the oven or at room temperature.

What’s your favorite cornbread recipe?

BUttermilk Cornbread | The Clever Carrot

buttermilk cornbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Dry
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably organic
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ baking soda
  • pinch of salt
Wet
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ c. blonde cane sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Lightly grease an 8x8 pan with a little vegetable oil. Line the pan with parchment paper creating an overhang on each side. These will be your 'handles' to lift out the bread.
  3. Working over a large bowl, sift all of the dry ingredients together.
  4. In another bowl, whisk all of the wet ingredients making sure that everything is well incorporated.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until there is no visible flour. Do not over mix as this will create a dry, tough bread. Some lumps are ok.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Bake on the center rack for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. If you are using a glass baking pan, remove the bread after 10 minutes as it will continue to cook in the pan.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature with a little butter on the side.
Notes
*If you are using a baking pan larger than 8x8, you might need to decrease the cooking time depending on its size.

blueberry cornmeal muffins

blueberry muffins, muffin tray

Is there something you really like to eat, but have yet to find the ultimate recipe?

That’s how I felt about blueberry muffins. I had been on a quest to find the ultimate recipe and failed. I tried muffins with almond flour, wheat flour, with butter, without butter, olive oil etc. etc. Every recipe tasted like flavorless white cake with a bunch of berries thrown in. I was looking for something hearty, not cake-like.

So I began to experiment with cornmeal. I like corn muffins, how bad could it be?

blueberries, measuring spoons, cornmeal, eggs

I was pleasantly surprised I must say… The muffins were moist, but not sticky. They were sweet, but not too sweet. The crumb had good texture, but was not dense. The cornmeal added a lovely, sweet flavor which was a nice compliment to the berries. I think I was onto something!

blueberry muffins, white cake stand

But wait, it gets better-  these little guys are freezer friendly. You can freeze them already baked or you can freeze the batter itself. To do that, just line a muffin tin with paper cups, pour in the batter and pop the whole thing into the freezer. When they’re frozen you can store them in zip loc bags. To bake, place the muffin cups back in a tin and bake straight from frozen (cool, isn’t it?) I’ve done this several times and it works like a charm.

blueberry cornmeal muffins

muffin cups, blue stripe

These blueberry cornmeal muffins are my ultimate ‘go to’ recipe. I’ve made them a hundred times and the flavor is excellent. I’m still on the hunt for the ultimate traditional blueberry muffin, but if I never find it I can rest happily.

What is your favorite muffin recipe?

blueberry cornmeal muffins
 
Author:
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • ¾ c. cornmeal
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • ½ c. oil
  • ¼ c. whole milk yogurt (not greek)
  • ¼ c. whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  3. In another bowl mix together the wet ingredients; sugar (yes, sugar is dry but mixing it with the egg and other ingredients helps to break down the sugar crystals), oil, yogurt, milk and egg.
  4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. DO NOT over mix or else you will have tough muffins.
  5. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  6. Spoon the batter into your muffin cups, about ¾ full. You should be able to get 12-14 muffins.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes inside the tin. Then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Notes
* Use fresh or frozen blueberries. * Muffins will keep for about 3 days. * You can freeze already baked muffins or the batter itself for up to 3 months.