Ginger is an incredibly versatile ingredient. Fresh ginger has that unmistakable bite to it and grates easily into sweet and savory dishes. Ground, dried ginger has a warmth to it that is unique, along with a mild flavor. My favorite kind of ginger is easily crystallised ginger, or candied ginger.
Ginger is candied in the same way that orange peels and many other fruits are candied: raw ginger is boiled in a sugar syrup until the flavor of the ginger is concentrated and the ginger is tender. Typically, the ginger is then rolled in sugar (although I’ve seen the same thing sold without a sugary exterior before) before being set out to dry. The size of the ginger varies. Some makers like to turn out huge logs of ginger, while other prefer to cut theirs down into thick rounds. The problem with both of these shapes is that when you chop them up for baking – which is probably one of the most popular uses for candied ginger other than as a straight snack – you get very little of the sugary coating that really adds a nice sweetness and crunch to baked goods.
Problem solved with one of my favorite ginger products: the Ginger People‘s Baker’s Cut Crystallized Ginger Chips. The ginger is chopped up into small, chocolate chip-sized bits before it is candied, so if you want to add it into muffins or cookies, all you need to do is open the package and pour them out. It saves a lot of time and the ginger tastes great. I love the extra sugary coating that you get on these and, aside from my personal preference, have found that they’re very helpful when it comes to winning over reluctant ginger-eaters.