I rarely used spelt flour before the pandemic, but for some reason now I usually have a bag in the freezer. I'm not sure if it's just becoming more popular in recipes or if I've become more open to baking with it. But since I had spelt on hand, I decided to try Dan Lepard's recipe for "Spelt and Ginger Cookies."
This recipe calls for stem ginger, which is preserved ginger in syrup. I see stem ginger listed quite frequently as an ingredient in British and Australian recipes, but I have never seen it for sale in the United States. While I know it's possible to make you own preserved ginger, I figured that I would just substitute crystallized ginger.
This recipe is straightforward and doesn't require a mixer. You melt butter with golden syrup and drained stem ginger (or, in my case, chopped crystalized ginger); remove the pan from the heat and beat in caster sugar (I used regular granulated), brown sugar, and an egg yolk; and incorporate spelt flour, ground ginger, and baking soda. The recipe doesn't call for any salt but I added a little to the batter.
This cookie was hefty and thick. The headnote says that the spelt adds "heaviness [that] is rather good, as it adds to the chewiness of the texture, and it also adds a nutty complexity to the flavour." There's no way I would be able to identify this cookie as 100% spelt just from the taste, but the texture and chewiness were quite memorable, as well as the distinctive nutty/earthy flavor. The cookie was almost cakelike -- which normally I hate in a cookie, but I actually quite enjoyed the texture here, especially because it was enclosed in a crisp exterior. And the cookies were deliciously gingery and spicy.
I loved these cookies and the little cookie was so cute that I think I would actually make these the tiny size next time. Somehow the idea of eating these by the handful seems quite appealing!
Recipe: "Spelt and Ginger Cookies" from Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard.