Ginger-Chile Caramel Cookies

These addictive cookies are drizzled with hot caramel, so you can explore your artistic side when it comes to decorating them! With a generous dose of crystallized ginger and bit of chile heat, they are not for the faint-hearted.–Isidora Popovic

LC Intriguingly Ginger-y, Chile-y, Caramel-y Cookies Note

We admit it, we’re over the moon for these intriguingly ginger-y, chile-y, caramel-y cookies—the way they look, the way they taste, the way they win friends and influence people. They’re for someone with a spirit of adventure, someone occasionally bored by the classic chocolate chunk cookie, someone, well, like a Dad. If you’ve a motley audience and you’re teetering indecisively as to whether to make them or not, bear in mind that the cookies are perfectly lovely minus the chile caramel, given their nice but not overwhelming ginger presence, so consider baking a batch but only drizzling some of them with the sweet heat.

Ginger-Chile Caramel Cookie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 50 M
  • Makes about 30

Ingredients

  • For the cookies
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking sheets
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • For the chile caramel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • A pinch of ground cayenne or hot chile powder (or more if you like the heat!)

Directions

  • Make the cookies
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Butter 2 baking sheets.
  • 2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
  • 3. Mix the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger in a separate bowl, then gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • 4. Place a generous teaspoonful of the dough on 1 of the prepared baking sheets. Flatten it slightly, then repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the dough balls well apart, given that they will spread during baking.
  • 5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet while you make the chile caramel.
  • Make the chile caramel
  • 6. Place the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved and turned a shade of brown that’s caramel but not yet dark brown. The sugar can burn quite easily (which will turn the caramel bitter and unusable), so stir it often and keep a close eye on it. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the cayenne or chile powder. Use it immediately before it starts to harden.
  • Assemble the cookies
  • 7. Using a spoon, carefully and quickly drizzle the hot caramel over the cookies (about 1 teaspoon per cookie) any way you like. When the caramel has set (which happens quite quickly, a matter of minutes), transfer the cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack. Serve immediately. (You can store any that are left in an airtight container for up to 1 week, but be warned that in humid conditions the caramel can seep into the cookies and render them rather soggy.)
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Pat F.] These cookies are wonderful. I would absolutely make them again…and again. The ginger and chile play beautifully off each other. The crunch and spicing are a great combination. These cookies are also easy to make and don’t require many ingredients. The trickiest part was decorating them with the caramel before it hardened. They would be great as adult Halloween cookies, especially for someone talented making designs with caramel.

    • molly says:

      The sugar will melt all by itself? I’ve not tried this yet but wanted to be sure some form of liquid is not required. Thanks!

      • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

        Yes, Molly, the sugar caramelizes simply from the heat. There are many ways to make caramel, this is one of them. Be sure to watch the sugar carefully. As the recipe notes, one must move rather quickly! But it’s super simple and the more often you make it the easier it becomes. Let us know how it goes!

        • Nadia says:

          I know it states a pinch of cayenne. How big or small of a “pinch” do you really add? ; )

          • David Leite says:

            Nadia, it’s really to your taste. I wouldn’t worry too much. Just pinch in a bit and try it. If it’s too hot, cut back next time. But the sweetness makes a nice foil for the heat.

  2. Leina says:

    These cookies are delish! The cayenne really gave the cookie a zing that other cookies I have tried just can’t quite attain. Isn’t it amazing how spicy and sweet really makes a beautiful creation. Such artistry. This one is definitely one of the more interesting pieces I have seen. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Tiff says:

    Oooh, this was on my ‘to bake’ list for sometime. Christmas holidays are the perfect opportunity to make them! Can’t wait to dish these out…

  4. Jen says:

    I’m going to give these a spin for my Christmas cookie exchange party this weekend… this is just the kind of exotic recipe that gets my juices flowing! Thanks!

  5. Nancy says:

    I love baking with crystalized ginger but find it difficult to chop as it is so sticky. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      We do, Nancy! Simply dribble a little mild vegetable or olive oil on a paper towel and wipe the blade of your knife with it every few chops. I think you’ll find this is, quite literally, a really slick solution…

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