David Lebovitz recently featured a recipe from New Zealand on his blog: "Ginger Crunch," a bar with a cookie base and ginger icing. It looked delicious and unlike anything I'd ever baked before, so I wanted to give it a try. I had to buy some golden syrup first -- I don't normally keep it on hand, but I picked up a bottle in the foreign foods aisle of the Social Safeway. Lebovitz made the recipe in a 13-inch by 4-inch fluted tart pan, and I decided to double it and bake it in a 13-inch by 9-inch pan.
To make the cookie base layer, you cream together butter and sugar, and add in flour, baking powder, and dried ginger. The recipe notes that the dough may be difficult to coax together and that you should knead it together with damp hands if necessary. I kneaded it a few times and it still wasn't smooth, but I figured that since I was just going to press the dough into a pan anyway, it didn't really matter if the dough was cohesive or not. After you press the dough into a pan, you bake it until golden.
While the base layer is in the oven, you make the icing by heating butter and golden syrup, and then mixing in powdered sugar and powdered ginger. You pour the warm icing over the base layer right after you pull it out from the oven.
The bars were delightful, and tasters enthusiastically gave them positive reviews. True to their name, the thick cookie base is firm and crunchy. The ginger flavor is quite assertive and the bars have a nice amount of heat. I plan on making these bars often -- they are easy, unusual and delicious.
Recipe: "Ginger Crunch" from David Lebovitz.