Huckleberry Bagels

HUCKLEBERRY BAGELS watermarkChewy on the outside and soft on the inside, studded with little wild mountain huckleberries – these bagels will not be found in the bakery section of your local grocery store! Nope…you’ll have to work for these babies.

If you live near mountains where huckleberries can be found, put on your hiking boots and grab your bear spray, because trust me…they are worth every back breaking, ankle twisting, bear encountering, mosquito biting moment. They truly are!
If you don’t have access to them, frozen huckleberries can be purchased on the Internet. They aren’t cheap, but they’re so flavorful that just a few berries can really make a flavor statement in a recipe. Of course you can substitute blueberries instead, and still have a wonderfully delicious batch of bagels.

Bagel dough is very VERY easy to make, and the rest of the procedure is a lot of fun. This is a bit of a shortcut version, since I’m always too eager to get warm bagels to opt for the “rise overnight” method. I also was a little reluctant to go with the lye bath; nor did I think my readers would want to try that. But either I’m not much of a connoisseur or I’ve never tasted an authentic New York bagel, because these tasted plenty good to me!

Huckleberry Bagels - The Rowdy Baker

To make bagels you take a simple yeast dough, let it rise, divide it into 8 pieces, (or 12 if you like sissy bagels) boil them, and bake them. Of course I had to complicate things a bit by adding huckleberries, especially since I didn’t have dried huckleberries which would have been a slam-dunk. I used frozen huckleberries and had to do some fancy footwork to keep them from turning the bagels purple. Here’s what I did:

Heat berries and strain them. Don't mash!! Be gentle.

Heat berries and strain them. Don’t mash!! Be gentle.

I put a cup of frozen huckleberries in a bowl and microwaved them for 1 minute. After stirring, I microwaved them for 1 more minute. This softened them so they would release some of their juices. The berries went into a strainer over a small bowl until they were cool. The juice was set aside for making huckleberry butter to top the bagels, and the berries (strainer and all) were set in the freezer while the bagels were being made. When I was ready to use them, I took them from the freezer, broke them apart, and dredged them in a tablespoon of flour. They weren’t mixed into the dough, they were added at the very last, right when the bagels were being formed. Worked like a charm!

Not that I wouldn’t have wolfed down purple bagels, of course.

Cream cheese is lovely to top bagels with. Butter is tasty too. But best of all is huckleberry butter. I made my own butter for this, but you are welcome to use regular butter. To make it, add enough water to the reserved berry juice to make 1/4 cup of liquid. Put it in a small pan with 3 tablespoons sugar and bring it to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Chill. Beat 1/4 cup room temperature butter with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Add as much of the chilled berry syrup as you’d like. The color will get pretty vibrant if you add it all, but OH, the flavor! If it isn’t thick enough, add a little more powdered sugar. That’s it!

Cream separating. It's okay - this is what you want! BUTTER!

Cream separating. It’s okay – this is what you want! BUTTER!

Now…just for fun, you could do it my way. I admit, this was less because I’m a purist and more because I was out of butter, but I think I’d do it this way again; the butter is so sweet and good. To make homemade butter, simply put 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl and beat it on high with an electric mixer until it looks like it’s curdled and liquid appears in the bottom of the bowl. (I used a wimpy mixer and it still only took about 5 minutes.) Strain out the liquid (that’s buttermilk, folks!) and stir with a spoon, pressing and mashing gently. Again, pour out liquid. Cover the butter with cold water, mash a few more times with a spoon, strain out the water, and *voila!* you have butter. Add a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of powdered sugar, and berry syrup and mix until combined.

Oh, beautiful huckleberry butter...where have you been all my life?!

Oh, beautiful huckleberry butter…where have you been all my life?!


Before I give you the bagel recipe, I need to make a disclaimer. If you noticed that my finished bagels were a little dimpled, I have to admit I did something kind of brainless. I knew better, but it’s been a while since I’ve made bagels, and hey – it happens. I put the egg wash on the bagels before they rose, instead of after they came out of their bath. It probably kept the crust from forming, which made them look a little different, but they tasted great and were nice and chewy. Just not as crusty on the outside as usual. So if you like soft bagels, you might want to try my new “method”.

Huckleberry Bagels
Makes 8 large or 12 small bagels
  • 1 cup frozen huckleberries
  • 1¼ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon flour to dredge berries in
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 egg, and 2 teaspoons water for egg wash
  1. In a small bowl, heat berries in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Place in a strainer over a small bowl to drain. Don't mash them. When all of the juice has drained into bowl, place the berries in the freezer (it's easiest just to leave them in the strainer) and set the juice aside if you plan to make huckleberry butter. (See below)
  2. In a large bowl (a stand mixer is best) combine the water, white sugar, and yeast. Let it sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Using your dough hook, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and 2 cups of the bread flour. Mix well.
  4. Add the remaining flour and knead by mixer for 7-8 minutes, or by hand for 8-10 minutes. Bagel dough should be very elastic and shouldn't break apart easily when you stretch it.
  5. Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow dough to rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Punch down dough and on a lightly floured surface, separate into 8 (or 12 for smaller bagels) equal pieces.
  7. Remove berries from the freezer and dredge them in 1 tablespoon flour, breaking them up as you work. Shake out the extra flour.
  8. Flatten one piece of dough at a time and sprinkle with berries. Bring the edges up toward the center and pinch to close.
  9. Turn the dough over so the pinched side is on the flat surface, and pull the ball of dough towards you, tucking sides under a little as you pull. This will create a very round, uniform ball of dough. Push your finger through the middle to create a hole, and then with both thumbs in the hole, twiddle your thumbs until a large hole is created. Try to keep the bagel as uniform as possible, but don't worry if a berry or two peek out of the middle. Bagels are rustic, not perfect.. Repeat until all bagels are formed, Leave them on the floured surface, covered with a towel, for 30 minutes.
  10. While the bagels are sitting, Preheat oven to 450 F. and lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal.
  11. When the 30 minutes is almost up, fill a very large pot half full of water. Add 1 tablespoon baking soda and bring to a boil.
  12. Drop bagels into boiling water in batches, a few at a time, giving them enough room to move around without touching the other bagels. Let them boil for 90 seconds on each side, then gently remove one at a time with a slotted spatula, let it drip over the pan, and set it on the prepared baking sheet. They can go fairly close together since they won't rise while baking.
  13. Whisk the egg and water together and brush the top of each bagel.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a rich golden brown.
  15. Move to racks to cool.
  16. ***
  17. To make huckleberry butter, boil ¼ cup of huckleberry juice (add water if necessary) with 3 tablespoons of sugar, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring for 1 minute. Chill mixture. Beat ¼ cup soft butter with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and add as much huckleberry syrup as desired. Beat until combined.


Dough is ready to rise

Dough is ready to rise

Dough, risen and ready to shape

Dough, risen and ready to shape

Pull edges of dough up over the berries

Pull edges of dough up over the berries

Give it a pinch or two and flip it over.

Give it a pinch or two and flip it over.

Scoot the dough, creating a round ball.

Scoot the dough, creating a round ball.

Poke a hole in the middle.

Poke a hole in the middle.

Use both thumbs and twiddle!

Use both thumbs and twiddle!

A steamy hot bath...

A steamy hot bath…

A little egg wash

A little egg wash

...and bake them to a glorious, shiny brown.

…and bake them to a glorious, shiny brown.

Huckleberry Bagels

Huckleberry Bagels

I love these toasted, with a thin scraping of butter. Oh, who am I kidding? I love these slathered in cream cheese, huckleberry butter, regular butter, or even plain. I’ll eat them stale!

I hope you’ll give them a try. Maybe I’ll see you in the woods!

Star Spangled Cookies

Each month a group of crazy food bloggers gets together to make theme-related recipes. This month we’re running with a rousing patriotic Red White and Blue theme! After you’ve read this post, click on the links at the bottom of the page to see what the other gals have come up with. There are still a few to come, so check back every morning for the latest creation.

Can you hear the John Philip Sousa march playing in the background? Smell the burgers on the barbecue? See the kids lined up at the fireworks stand? Independence Day is right around the corner, and do I have a fun recipe for you! Kids will love to help with this one. Presenting…Star Spangled Cookies!

Star Spangled cookies I used cinnamon Jolly Ranchers for the red cookies. You’ll find lots of hard red candies to choose from, and may prefer cherry or strawberry flavors. Your biggest challenge will be finding hard blue candy. I used Dum Dum suckers from the dollar store, but found that there was blue and then there was blue.

My first batch turned green when they baked. Apparently blueberry flavored suckers held their color, and blue raspberry didn’t. I recommend that you test one or two cookies first, just to be sure they’ll turn out a nice, patriotic blue. Red white and green just doesn’t have the same impact. Unless you’re Italian.

I have two more options for you. I tried baking the cookies until they were almost done and then pulled them from the oven and VERY carefully dropped the crushed candy in the centers, returning them to the oven just until the candy was melted. That worked quite well. The candy didn’t cook as long, so it didn’t get that amber tone to it. (Yellow + blue = green, as I found out.)

The other option is to make your own hard candy. It’s really very easy to do. Here’s a simple hard candy recipe from Lorann Oils. I would recommend making the candy, letting it harden, and crushing it. Pouring hot candy into the small star centers would be very tricky. If you have better hand-eye coordination than I do, you might be able to pull it off. I’d make a mess of that!

Whoops…did I say two options? I have one more, though it’s a little artsy-fartsy. I think it’s pretty, and you could mix colors this way too. Bake your cookies and as soon as they’re done, add the crushed candy. The heat from the cookie and the baking sheet will partially melt the candy. It won’t be smooth and flat, but as long as the candy is touching the sides of the cookie in a few spots, it will stay put. Kind of interesting, huh?

This is fun, too!

This is fun, too!

I used a strong freezer bag and a hammer to crush my candy. It worked like a charm and got some of that aggression out! Star Spangled Cookies horizThe cookie itself is a sturdy shortbread. If you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe that doesn’t spread too much, that would work well too. You’ll need two star cookies, one large and one smaller. Here’s my recipe and easy instructions.

Star Spangled Cookies
Festive, summery shortbread cookies with a stained-glass candy window in the center. Makes about 36 cookies, depending on the size of your cutters.
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (clear vanilla, if you have it)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup crushed blue hard candy
  • ½ cup crushed red hard candy
  • For decorating: ½ cup white chocolate chips, sprinkles, nonpareils.
  1. In a large bowl (a stand mixer is best) beat the butter and powdered sugar together until creamy.
  2. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add the flour and cornstarch. Mixture will be stiff - switch to a dough hook or stir by hand if necessary. Cover and chill for one hour.
  4. Heat oven to 350 F.
  5. Roll dough out to ¼-inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Using a large star cookie cutter, cut out stars and place them on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  6. With small cookie cutter, cut a star out of the middle of each.
  7. Carefully put enough crushed candy in the center of each cookie to cover the parchment, but don't overfill or it will bubble up the sides. Use a toothpick to distribute the candy evenly. Make sure there are no little bits of crushed candy on the cookie dough. (Use the toothpick to flick them down where they belong!)
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes. Place baking sheets on cooling racks and let the cookies cool completely.
  9. Drizzle the cookie with white chocolate or royal icing if desired, and sprinkle with sugar decorations.


Here's what you'll need (plus fun decorations)

Here’s what you’ll need (plus fun decorations)

Distribute the crushed candy.

Distribute the crushed candy.

Just think of how pretty these will look in a basket on your picnic table this Fourth of July. They’ll be a hit with young and old alike. Now strike up that band and march over to these blogs to find some other great recipes!


Devilish Buffalo Eggs From Tampa Cake Girl.
(deconstructed) Berry Pies From An Affair from the Heart.
Double Decker Patriotic Pizookie From Cooking From a Stay at Home Mom.
Berry Pound Cake From Moore or Less Cooking Blog.
Red, White (chocolate) and Blue Trifles From Aunt Bee’s Recipes.
Red White and Blue Berry Poke Cake From Crumbs in My Mustachio.

Fly on the Wall – June


Fly on the Wall

Each month a group of bloggers gets together to write about the little things that happened in their homes that you’d only know about if you were a fly on their walls. This month there are 15 of us, so you have your choice of drama! As for me, I’m not happy with you at all, little fly.

This month, I have a bone to pick with you. Why can’t you earn your keep instead of being a freeloader on my wall? Now I’m going to have to buy some ladybugs to help out with the bug situation in the garden. You can eat poop, right? Then WHY can’t you eat Colorado Potato Beetles? Or at least the eggs. Here I am, welcoming you into my home every month, and you won’t even help out? Pfffft.

colorado potato beetle PUBLIC ENEMY

These little guys are back this year. It was an ongoing war last gardening season, with hundreds and hundreds of beetles picked off the potato plants by hand. They were moved to a bucket of soapy water lovely house with a pool. It appears this year will be more of the same. Picking off the bugs is the easy part (if you don’t consider my permanent stoop from bending over like that). It’s those darn eggs they lay under the leaves. Hard to find, and when you DO find them they have to be (eeeeeuw) squished. Ugh.

This is war. WAR, I say!

I belong to a Homemakers Club, which is something you probably won’t find if you live in the city. Here, it’s a thing. We have a token youngster or two, but most of us are well past middle age, with many women in their 80’s and even a couple of ladies in their 90’s. I love them all dearly, but as you can imagine, our meetings are pretty sedate. Uneventful…

Until the last one.

For an activity, one of the ladies was showing us how to fold hand towels like they do on the cruise ships. My partner and I were given instructions for making a monkey, and after 10 minutes of frustration I gave up. She tried a little longer, but we both finally admitted defeat, though we got a lot of laughs out of the attempt. One lady was making a swan. She held it up for all to see, and either I was the first to notice, or just the first to say it out loud, but it looked exactly like…well…something that could have used a little blue pill.

I started laughing and delicately choked out something about a “phallic symbol”, worried that I would shock some of the more elderly members. I obviously didn’t give them enough credit, because let me tell you…that thing made the rounds! Everyone at our table had to have a turn playing with it, posing it in different ways. Hysterical (and surprisingly earthy) conversations made for a refreshingly fun meeting!  And everyone thinks we just read minutes and have bake sales. Hah!


Anyone who knows me well would describe me as “organized”, “meticulous”, “efficient”…even “tidy”.
Excuse me while I clean up the wine that I just snorted out my nose!
I thought you might want to take a look at my awesome filing system. You know, for bills, receipts, etc.
Behold, my purse. It’s not a big purse; I bought it at a children’s store! It was, however, getting a little heavy. Makes for a sore shoulder, you know?

My poor, little, abused purse.

Here is what came OUT of that purse. I haven’t had the courage to sort through it yet. I’m pretty sure I will find grocery lists ranging from yesterday back to Christmas. The Man wanted me to plant some funny stuff in there, but I think this is horrifying enough.

My purse, deconstructed.

My purse, deconstructed.

You know what’s really bad? I have a similar purse hanging in the closet that should be thrown away, but I haven’t done that because it has all of my 2012 “filing” in it.

I need an intervention.fly1gifcropped

Three weeks ago I took a picture of the garden after the tomatoes were planted. The rows looked nice and clean, with very few weeds…so glad I took a picture of that, just as a wonderful, wonderful memory. June bites me on the butt every year. I get stuff planted and then the weather takes a dive, with torrents of rain, thunderstorms, hail…you name it. So while I’m huddling inside and the veggie plants are sulking outside, the weeds are taking advantage of the water and cool temperatures and exploding. By the time the sun comes back and I go out to survey my beautiful garden, the weeds have taken over. Every.Single.Year. I fight a good battle but never, ever win the war.

Today I worked on the onions. Here is what I got weeded:

So pretty after they've been weeded.

So pretty after they’ve been weeded.

And here is what I have left to do:

There really are onions between those weeds!

There really are onions between those weeds!

Pray for me.


I love getting mail. Well, real mail that doesn’t have “final notice” printed on it in red, or “Lorinda, please come back to us” on it. So when I got an unexpected package in the mail from my friend Mary, I was really excited…and rightfully so! She brought THIS back from her vacation to Hawaii. 036

She and I now have two matching Christmas tops! There is nothing she could have brought me that would have been more thrilling (well…maybe a huge box of those chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Are you getting this Mary?) because I rock Christmas shirts.

If you were following me last Christmas, you’ll know that I have enough Christmas shirts to wear a different one each day of December – kind of like a Nativity calendar. That is, I did have that many, until my evil daughter made me throw away the one with the fake collar. I admit, it was pretty lame.

So now I’m back in action. And do you know what????

Plugin supplied by Your Christmas Countdown

Bwa ha ha ha. Only 187 days left ’til Christmas!

It’s pretty much been all work, no play this month. But next month my grandkids will be here visiting, so I should have LOTS of great material for you. For now, here are some other places to buzz by and check out. See you next month!

Baking In a Tornado
Just a Little Nutty
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
Spatulas on Parade
Stacy Sews and Schools
The Momisodes
Someone Else’s Genius
Battered Hope
Menopausal Mother
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Juicebox Confession
Black Sheep Mom
Go Mama O
elleroy was here

GINger Lime Buzz

GINger Lime BuzzYou know I’m all about baking. I seldom branch out into the world of meals and liquid refreshments, though of course I indulge in both regularly.  I made an exception today, because I wanted to create a drink for a good friend, Cydnee of Tampa Cake Girl and was shocked to find that I not only liked it, I LOVED it.

And here I thought I hated gin.

I’m on a bit of a ginger kick right now, so it features prominently in this drink. If you’re wild about ginger, add up to a teaspoon of juice. And if you’re wondering how to get ginger juice, you can either process it in a food processor and press out the juice in a sieve, or scrape the peel off with the edge of a spoon and grate the ginger, then press it through a sieve. Do NOT do what I did last night and squeeze a handful of grated ginger with your bare hand. I don’t have any lasting scars, but I can tell you I had a hot hand for hours!!!

I also recommend that you process a whole lot of ginger juice. It can be frozen in a bag and little pieces can be broken off whenever you are hot and sweaty and MUST have one of these!

GINger Lime Buzz
Serves: 1
Tart and fizzy and completely satisfying on a hot day! Leave the ice in if you wish, but you might want to compensate by using a little more gin. *wink wink*
  • 2 ice cubes
  • ½ teaspoon ginger juice (from fresh ginger root, grated and pressed)
  • Juice from one Key lime
  • 1 ounce lime flavored gin
  • lemon-lime soda to taste
  1. Place ice cubes in a glass
  2. Pour the ginger juice, lime juice, and gin over the ice cubes.
  3. Stir well to chill the liquids, and remove the ice.
  4. Add soda to taste

Happy summer!

Sugar Cookies – Straight Up!

My father liked his cookies just the way he liked his martinis: straight up! He’s been gone for years now, but Father’s Day (closely followed by his birthday) is coming soon, which always makes me nostalgic.

Here's to you, Pop!

Here’s to you, Pop!

So I’m bringing you his favorite treat, my grandma’s Sugar Cookies. No sprinkles, no frosting. But just as a martini needs an olive, he insisted that this cookie needed a single raisin right in the middle. I’ll admit, I like to put a very thin sugar glaze on mine, or a light dusting of sugar, which doesn’t overpower the sugar cookie experience at all. But I’ll leave that up to you.

Glazed, sugared, or adorned with a raisin...your choice!

Glazed, sugared, or adorned with a raisin…your choice!

These aren’t crunchy sugar cookies that can be cut into shapes; they’re soft and sweet and puffy. For Christmas and Dad’s birthday I would make four or five different types of cookie dough and freeze cookie-sized scoops of dough in zipper bags. Dad loved being able to bake a few cookies at a time. But without a doubt, the sugar cookie dough was eaten first! Sugar cookies glazed horizontal

Here’s Grandma’s recipe. Don’t leave out the nutmeg – it really adds a lovely, light flavor. And yes, Grandma…I measured my ingredients. Pretty much.

Soft Sugar Cookies
No bells or whistles - these sugar cookies are the real deal. Soft, tender, and sweet. A little plain, but that's what makes them so charming. Add a thin powdered sugar glaze when cookies are cool, or sprinkle them with sugar before baking if you'd like. Makes about 4 dozen.
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4¾ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Raisins
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  3. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg.
  5. Beginning with the flour mixture, and ending with the sour cream, add alternately in three increments to the creamed mixture in the bowl. Cover and chill for an hour (or more).
  6. Heat oven to 375 F.
  7. On a floured surface or between two pieces of parchment, roll the dough out to a thickness of ¼-inch. Cut into circles using a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press one raisin directly in the middle of each cookie. (Sprinkle with sugar if you wish.)
  8. Bake 11-12 minutes, until barely golden on bottom edges.
  9. Cool on a rack.


Cream the butter and sugar.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Sift the dry ingredients.

Sift the dry ingredients.

Add one third of the dry ingredients...

Add one third of the dry ingredients…

Add one third of the sour cream....etc.

Add one third of the sour cream….etc.

Roll and cut.

Roll and cut.

...and sit on the porch with a cold glass of milk and a plate of cookies!

…and sit on the porch with a cold glass of milk and a plate of cookies!

Ginger Chews

Ginger chews horizontal biteI can’t begin to tell you how excited I am right now! The men in my life just don’t get it, and are watching me jump and squeal with looks of alarm on their faces. Pffft. This is my happy dance and I don’t care who’s watching.

Can you keep a secret? I have this little addiction that I’ve been trying to curb because it gets so expensive. Have you ever eaten ginger chews? Spicy, chewy, tummy-warming ginger chews? I buy mine at the local health food store, and can easily wipe out the handful of candies that come in the box before I even make it home.

I love, love, love them. And yet, I could never find a recipe for them. When I have a recipe idea in my head but don’t know where to begin with the ingredients and measurements, I do what every other person with a computer does: I Google it! I find several recipes, get a general idea of how they’re made, and then experiment until I make it my way. But no matter how hard I hunted, I couldn’t find one single recipe that sounded right. I tried one that seemed to have potential and ended up with a ginger hard candy. A very good ginger hard candy…but I wanted chewy.

With bits and pieces from many recipes, and my last piece of ginger root, I crossed my fingers and finally met with success! Take THAT, Google! I’m not claiming that they’re healthy. I plan to try a batch using agave or honey in the future, but these are basically sugar and ginger, and I.Don’t.Care. Ginger chews watermark

Disclaimer: An hour after I posted this recipe I made yet another batch (thank goodness for frozen ginger juice) because the guys said it wasn’t chewy enough. An additional tablespoon of cornstarch and 5 more degrees made all the difference! After the chews have sat out for 12 hours they are very firm, but after a minute in your mouth they soften up. If you prefer your chews softer, only use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and bring the mixture up to a temperature of 260 F.

UPDATE: For those who have corn allergies, follow the directions below with the following changes:

  1. Substitute honey for the corn syrup
  2. Use 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (aka, tapioca flour) instead of cornstarch
  3. Reduce the ginger juice to 3 tablespoons
  4. Cook to 270 F.

You may have to play with the recipe a little. Your altitude and your thermometer may be a little different than mine. Start by making a half batch and see how it works for you.

Here, at a fraction of the cost of imported chews, is my recipe for Ginger Chews.

Ginger Chews
Spicy, chewy, ginger candy.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5-6 ounces of fresh ginger root, or enough to make ¼ cup juice
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root (optional)
  1. Prepare a mold. You can use a pan lined with parchment paper sprayed lightly with oil, hard candy molds lightly sprayed with oil (not chocolate molds – they melt!), or combine 2 cups cornstarch and 2 cups powdered sugar and put it in a cake pan. You can adjust the amount if you want deeper molds. Make holes in it with your finger or spoon handle, or press designs with small objects. In the photos, I used a star-shaped ice cube tray.
  2. Juice the ginger root. I use a food processor and process the ginger, skin and all, stopping to stir it several times. You could also scrape the ginger root with a spoon to remove most of the peel, and finely grate it. Place the processed or grated ginger in a small sieve and press out the juice with a spoon. The quantity of juice will vary depending on the freshness of the ginger. Extra can be frozen for another time.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and cornstarch. Turn the heat to medium. Stirring often, bring the mixture to a boil and watch the temperature carefully, using a candy thermometer. When it reaches 265 F, remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the ginger juice and grated ginger (if you like it very spicy). Be careful and use a long spoon! It will sizzle and spit while you're stirring in the ginger juice.
  4. Pour into the mold of your choice. If you are using the cornstarch/powdered sugar method, pour carefully into each cavity. Pour any extra onto a lightly greased piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with some of the cornstarch mixture, if desired.
  5. Allow the candy to sit for several hours to firm up, then dust with cornstarch and wrap each piece in a square of waxed paper or parchment.


Pressing ginger for juice.

Pressing ginger for juice.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and cornstarch and bring to boil

Combine sugar, corn syrup and cornstarch and bring to boil

Bring mixture to 265 degrees.

Bring mixture to 265 degrees…almost there!

Poured into cavities in cornstarch and powdered sugar.

Poured into cavities in cornstarch and powdered sugar.

Ginger Chews plated vertical on blue

Whether you eat them as an aid to digestion, to curb seasickness or morning sickness, or just because the hot gingery taste is amazing, these little candies will hit the spot. Excuse me while I go gloat.