Spiced Ginger Shortbread

This shortbread recipe is incredibly easy, yet so scandalously spicy and sweet that you might even expect to see it in the pages of a naughty book such as the one written by my friend and fellow #Saturday6 blogger Helen Yoest. You heard correctly. Helen is writing a book on growing plants that can only be described as love potions in polite company. Read on to learn more about how her book and this shortbread can bring a little heat to your love life.

Don't worry, this recipe is totally safe for work - that is, unless your kid is unusually adept at reading between the lines. I'm biting my tongue and leaving the suggestive dialogue to Helen so that I can keep this blog squeaky clean, but I just had to take the time to tell you about what promises to be next year's most buzzworthy book on plants - along with Plant by Numbers of course. Plants with Benefits is going to cause quite a stir.

Her 50 Shades of Grey for the gardening set is called Plants with Benefits: An Uninhibited Guide to the Aphrodisiac Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & Veggies in Your Garden. Oh yes she did. She totally went there and you can expect to see it hit the shelves just a month before Valentine's Day. I loved her first book, but this will be... something else. I'm celebrating by sharing a preview of one of the love potion recipes that you can expect to find in its forbidden pages.

All it takes to give a daring makeover to an old fashioned recipe like shortbread is add the right spices to the 3 basic ingredients of flour, butter and sugar. The candied ginger adds what can only be described as 'zing', the cardamom freshens the breath and a sprinkling of cinnamon seals it with a kiss. Here's how to make your own prelude to passion in only thirty minutes. (Hint: For best results, this recipe requires two cooks in the kitchen.)

Spiced Ginger Shortbread

- 1 1/ cups All-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 2 tablespoons cardamom
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Finely chop crystallized (candied) ginger and combine with flour, sugar and cardamom in a bowl. Stir flour, sugar, cardamom and ginger together until well mixed.

Use a blender to mix in a stick of cold butter until a fine and crumbly consistency is achieved. Knead the mixture together in a bowl until smooth.

Place the ball of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet and shape it into a seven inch circle before cutting into eight even wedges. Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Slice the wedges again, garnish with cinnamon and allow the shortbread to cool.

Serve with green tea.

Slice the wedges again while hot.

I used crystallized ginger, but it can be substituted by combining one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger with one tablespoon of sugar. To make your own candied ginger, David Lebovitz has an excellent tutorial on his blog. The green portions of a freshly harvested ginger root are preferable for candying, but you can grow your own fresh ginger by following my instructions.


  1. Excellent, Steve! I LOVE this line, "Hint: For best results, this recipe requires two cooks in the kitchen." lol. It was a VERY fun book to write. I so glad you are playing a part in it. H.

  2. Can't wait to get my hands on...Helen's book! LOL

  3. Oh cardamom and ginger are two of my favorite spices, and I never thought to add them to shortbread. Yummy. That sounds like an excellent and fun book.

  4. Can't wait to read the book and, in the interim, make these cookies! Like, today!


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