I Paper Cheffed it!!

OK, so I am in complete awww of Iron Chef's, Chopped contestants and Top Chef competitors...this was alot harder than it seemed....maybe I thought about it too much, maybe I was extra nervous because I have never ever submitted my recipes to be "judged", or maybe I just had too much time to work it out? Whatever it was...it was overall fun...fun because I had all of these ideas flowing, and I actually turned it into what I had imagined. Granted I am no kitchen novice, but, I am by far the furthest thing from a pastry chef...or a chef per se at this point in time. For those of you who know me, know it is by choice, I had given up cooking for a while because I had lost all passion. Can you imagine being an artist and not being able to stand looking at your favorite art supplies? That's what it was like for me, I needed time, I needed space and I needed to really feel that passion again. Am I head over heels in love with food again? No, but I am getting to know it again, taking it slow...one dish at a time :)

Please enjoy the recipe I am submitting to Paper Chef for this month's ingredient challenge. It is a little time consuming, but well worth the treat at the end :)

Candied Cookie Surprise

I chose this name because at first glance you can't tell the flavor of the cookie

Crystallized Candied Ginger

1/4 # ginger, peeled and sliced about 1/8th of an inch thick

2 cups water for boiling, 2 different times (so 4 cups)

1 and 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 and 1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1) add ginger to a pot, add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 15 mins

2) drain ginger, reserve 1/3 cup of boiled ginger water for later use and repeat step 1

3) drain ginger and return to pot, add sugar, salt and water, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium, simmer for about 45 mins, or until your syrup has reduced to about 1/3 of original amount

4)remove ginger from syrup immediately and set to dry on parchment paper for about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove remaining syrup from pot and place on a buttered pan, it will turn into a crystallized sugar candy that you can break apart and dip into chocolate.

Candied Orange Peel

skin from 1 Valencia orange, with minimal pith, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

2 cups of water for boiling, 3 separate times (so 6 cups total)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar in a shallow dish

1) bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add orange peels, and blanch for 1 min, drain orange peels, run under cold water for 1 min, and repeat process 2 more times

2)bring 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil, add orange peels and reduce heat, simmer for about 15 to 20 mins, and remove orange peels, separate peels and place on parchment paper to cool/dry for about an hour and 15 mins. reserve orange syrup for later use

3) roll cooled orange peels in 1 cup sugar in shallow dish, once completely coated let sit in sugar for about an hour to help remove moisture

Cookie Dough

1 cup salted butter, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup skim milk ricotta, room temperature

2 tablespoons orange syrup (reserved from candying process)

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 teaspoon ginger paste, or 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 and 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour

1 and 1/2 cup quick cook oatmeal

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger

1 tablespoon chopped candied orange peel

(preheat oven to 375)

1) cream butter for 1 min, add brown sugar, cream for another minute, add granulated sugar, cream for about 30 seconds, add 1 egg, mix for 45 secs or until well incorporated, add the other egg and repeat process.

2) mix ricotta for about 45 secs, add orange syrup, zest and ginger, mix well, add pumpkin puree, mix, add cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, mix until well incorporated.

3)add cheese mixture to butter mixture and mix on medium speed for 1 min, turn to high for 15 secs.

4)remove mixing bowl from stand, add 1/2 the amount of flour and fold in, add the other half and fold in, return to stand mixer and mix on low for about 30 secs.

5)add oatmeal and mix for about 30 secs, and candied ginger and orange and mix for another 30 secs.

6)spoon dough onto non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 20 mins.

7)place cookies on cooling rack and cool completely (about 45 mins to an hour)

Orange-Ginger Glaze

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon orange syrup (reserved from candying process)

3 tablespoons ginger water (reserved from candying process)

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/4 teaspoon ginger paste

1) add ingredients in order, mixing in between each

Chocolate Drizzle

melt 1/2 cup semi sweet dark chocolate with 1/4 teaspoon shortening

chopped candied ginger

chopped candied orange peel

Final Step

Place cookies on a rack lined with parchment

drizzle chocolate in your favorite pattern

sprinkled chopped candied ginger and orange peel

drizzle glaze

place in refrigerator for 20 mins

cookies may be refrigerated for longer if needed, they are extremely soft and cake like :)

Click on the link above for step by step photos :)


  1. So... how did they taste? :-) They look good anyway, and it seems you enjoyed making them.

  2. they were fantastic! the flavors were very light, and no overpowering, a good transition from summery foods to the heavier fall/winter dishes :)

  3. Lovely pairing, 'cookies, ginger & orange peel'...and who doesn't love a cookie surprise. YUM!! Thank you or jumping to the challenge. You sound like you had fun!!


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