We've recently added ginger to our menu. It's going well enough that when my blogger friend mentioned making syrup and candy & the link she uses, I had to try it. It sounded too easy to believe! When I started the prep for this project, kiddo was really wired and wanted to help. (for rest of story & recipe details scroll past recipe)
8 ounces ginger root, peeled & chopped
2 cups water
2 cups sugar + some for cookie sheet
Peel & chop ginger root. In a medium saucepan mix together 2 cups of sugar & 2 cups of water. Put over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
Dump in the chopped ginger root and turn heat down to maintain a low simmer until ginger is tender (for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours).
Coat a cookie sheet with sugar. You can line with wax or parchment paper if tolerated to make clean up easier. When the ginger is tender, remove from syrup with slotted spoon letting as much of the syrup drip off as you can. Spread ginger out on sugared cookie sheet. Let dry for 12-24 hours, tossing in sugar a couple of times.
~Original Recipe from Heritage Basket Studio & Chair Caning~
The Story & recipe details
I was also trying to throw together a loaf of bread, so I was more than happy to have help. They really wanted to help peeling the ginger root.
The novelty of peeling using the back edge of a spoon sounded fun & they persisted even when getting squirt in the eye! We quickly gave up on the spoons and opted for butter knives. Peeling with a spoon isn't all it's cracked up to be. Part way through peeling the first piece, they told me how calming it was. Bonus!! I think they were floating on Olfactory Cloud 9.
After getting squirt in the eye the second time, kiddo went tearing out of the room at break-neck speed. I took a deep breath bracing for drama like the first squirt produced.
And I waited for the bedroom door to slam.
Pondering & fighting the urge to look in on them, I kept peeling and listening for any sign of distress. Then kiddo nonchalantly walks back into the kitchen...
...chest puffed up & prepared for battle! I had to do a double-take. Yep, they were wearing the goggles we got over the summer because they were so determined to put their face in the water for swimming. They hated the goggles, wouldn't wear them or put face in the water. We put them in the dresser to save for another time.
What better time than peeling ginger root! And the split second the peeling & chopping was done the googles were promptly ripped off - they served their purpose and were no longer needed. Gotta give the kid props for problem-solving that one all on their own!
Once you have the ginger root peeled & chopped up, you can give your hands a stretch and shift over to making the sugar syrup.
When the sugar syrup is done, add the ginger and let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
At this stage, the syrup is finished. And it's so yumilicious! The syrup can be used to make hot tea and ginger ale among other things.
Let the syrup cool and pop in fridge.
Now the ginger's had a chance to cool and is safe for little fingers. Toss it around the cookie sheet to coat with sugar. Kiddo enjoyed flipping it around with a fork.
And now the waiting begins. The ginger needs to dry for 12-24 hours, depending on how chewy you like it. Less time equals more chew. When passing the ginger give it a toss in the sugar a couple of times. This will get more of it to stick to the ginger.
The crystalized ginger is a strong flavor, so approach it gingerly! Kiddo popped a piece in their mouth and immediately was hunting for something else to put in mouth to cool it. I thought that they'd spit the candy out with the reaction, but no they suffered through the spiciness because it was SO good!
A little bit goes a long way!