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.
AnastasiaMay 13, 2008
I am glad you posted a review. I have been wanting to order these for a while but have been a little reluctant. I am obsessed with ginger though an am excited to try them.
BradyMay 13, 2008
What a great tip! I am a huge ginger fan and will definitely be trying these
AbbyMay 13, 2008
I bought a can of their ginger at Williams-Sonoma not too long ago. I figured it would keep better than the kind that comes in plastic packages, and it wouldn’t destroy my mini-chopper cup when it comes to making cookies since, like you said, it’s already in small pieces!
Oatmeal Cookie GuyMay 13, 2008
I used candied ginger from a small plastic pack (sold at the check-out counter at my grocery store) in a couple of my recipes and wasn’t wild about the flavor. I switched to the Ginger People brand and was really happy.
AmyHMay 13, 2008
Have you tried Penzey’s candied ginger? I like it better than the Ginger People’s. It’s more uniform in size, and still pretty small, with just the right amount of sugar. Tastes great; we eat it like candy sometimes. Plus I think it’s a little cheaper, pound for pound.
raineyMay 13, 2008
I like all the Ginger People products but the best of all has to be the Ginger Delights. These are gels of ginger and have a lightly sweet and sophisticated flavor. You wouldn’t bake with them but then they’re perfection already so they don’t need to be part of something else.
…meanwhile, I completely agree with you that it’s wonderful to have baking sized candied ginger for scones, etc.
JerzeetomatoMay 16, 2008
I have been using Ginger People for a long time now. It is the secret ingredient in my lemon biscotti that no one can place.
Ooops secret revealed.
Laura T.November 29, 2009
So funny that you posted this today! I JUST finished making the cookie recipe on the back of the Ginger People’s tin! Funnily enough, I also added ground cardamom to the recipe. I am feeling very pyschically linked with you right now. I will have to use the rest of the tin to make these yummy pancakes.