HAKANOA GINGERBREAD COOKIES WITH TONY’S CHOCOLONELY WHITE CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY

This recipe takes Christmas Gingerbread cookies to a whole other level. And why you might ask? Well that combination of crispy, spicy ginger biscuits drizzled in creamy, melt in your mouth, chunky white raspberry chocolate, finished off with a dusting of tart raspberries is something quite special! And so enamoured am I with them, they will be in everyone’s Christmas stockings this year. Adults and kids stockings alike!

“Too Spicy!” our grandson, Miha, yelped at his first finger full of raw mixture. But it actually wasn’t. I swear he ate ¼ of the mixture in the making! And his joy in watching the sugars and butter meet baking soda in all its fluffy glory was priceless. “It’s GROWING! Like a monster!!”

I wondered if Hakanoa Ginger Syrup might bring a certain something special to the traditional ginger bread cookie and indeed it does. The cookies have a really lovely snap about them - perhaps it’s that gooey syrup working its magic! Dipping these crispy gingery morsels in child slave labour free Tony’s Chocolonley White Chocolate Raspberry Popping Candy adds another dimension of guilt free yum. I’m not usually a fan of white chocolate but the tart raspberry popping candy in this chocolate cuts the sweetness perfectly. Don’t miss out the raspberry dusting for a finger licking finish!  

Hakanoa Handmade Drinks were born out of founder Rebecca Hay’s love of old fashioned Ginger Beer, just like the stuff your uncle used to make in the garage. And she nailed it! 12 years on and Hakanoa’s range is extremely impressive. Their brews are chokka full of sustainably produced, spray free - and soon to be organic - Fijian ginger, whole spices, organic fair trade cane sugar, sultanas and fresh NZ meyer lemons. And the Spicy Chai is nothing short of a miracle. Stir a glug of this into a steaming hot cup of frothy plant or cow milk and you’ve got a very authentic taste of India in a cup. It’s a great drink when you feel like an afternoon pick me up and made even better with a couple of these ginger cookies on the side!

I’d recommend getting the kids in the kitchen and have fun making these Christmas cookies together. This recipe will make heaps of cookies! Ice what you can with that block of Tony’s chocolate and ice the rest as you please. The mix stores well in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks.

THE DOUGH

1 ½ c Hakanoa Ginger Syrup
10 black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
½ t cardamon seeds
2 T  ground ginger 
1 T  ground cinnamon
½ t ground nutmeg
½ t salt
3 ⅓ c flour
¾ c brown sugar
150 g butter
1 heaped t baking soda, sifted
1 beaten egg
1 t vanilla 

TO FINISH

1 block Tony’s Chocolonely White Chocolate with Raspberries, finely chopped
Fresh As Raspberry powder

METHOD

To reduce the Hakanoa syrup simmer in a heavy bottomed pan - The Lil’ Legacy is perfect for this -  for about 15 minutes over a low heat until it has reduced by half.

After grinding the black pepper, combine the cardamon, cloves and pepper with the rest of the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and form a well in the middle. You will pour the hot butter, sugar and syrup mix into this well shortly! These extra spicy ingredients are optional. Leave them out if you wish!

In a medium sized pot, melt the brown sugar and butter together over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the reduced Hakanoa syrup and bring back to the boil, stirring well so that everything is combined. Turn the heat down low and add the baking soda and stir lightly until the mix is frothy and tripled in size.

Carefully pour this mixture directly into the well in the middle of your dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon mix half the flour into the wet ingredients. Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix in the remaining flour. The mixture should be sticky and soft but not so sticky it sticks to the bench. Add more flour as required.

If making ginger bread shapes form the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. This mixture will last for a couple weeks in the fridge no problem! And it freezes well.

If you’re making a ginger bread crust for the Tony’s Chocolonely Gingerbread Meringue Pie! then there’s no need to chill the dough, just press the dough ⅓ cm thick into your Lil’ Legacy pan now. And follow the instructions! Then turn the remaining dough into cookies…

To bake Tony’s Chocolonely Gingerbread Cookies with White Chocolate and Raspberries, remove the dough from the fridge (if the dough has been chilling). Roll it out on a lightly floured bench to ⅓ cm thick. The thinner the crispier! If you like your bikkies chunkier, roll it thicker. If the dough has been chilling for longer than 30 minutes let it come to nearly room temp rolling. Cut into desired shapes and bake at 180°C for 12 minutes or until evenly browned and not burnt!

Transfer to a wire rack.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10 second bursts, stirring in between. It will only probably take 2 bursts!

Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled ginger bread shapes. Dust liberally with raspberry powder and leave to set before eating. If it’s a really hot day pop them in the fridge to cool.  

Now, have a Hakanoa Chai Tea party and taste that gingery love.

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