July 18, 2017

Ginger-Chile Caramel Cookies ~ #CreativeCookie Exchange

Boom! Pow! Bam! When you add a chile pepper to a cookie the result is an in-your-face
explosion of flavor. And with these cookies, the ginger and chile is a match made in heaven.

I love a cookie that has something unexpected when you take a bite.  These ginger cookies definitely have that in spades with a little cayenne in the glaze that is drizzled over the top.  Although the name of the cookie says caramel, I honestly think this is more of a hard toffee, or at least what I would call toffee as an Aussie.  I have fond memories of my elementary school days and the cake stall fundraisers we would have, and a toffee with hundreds and thousands sprinkled on top was always my favorite.

To add a little something different to the cookies I used li hing mui coated ginger instad of crystallized ginger.  Li hing mui has a sweet, sour, and salty flavor and it is made by pickling plum skins in licorice, salt and sugar, and then grinding them into a fine powder that has a dark pink-red hue.  It is very popular here in Hawaii where we put it on everything from fresh cut fruit, to popcorn, to margaritas.  Of course regular crystalized ginger would be just as amazing in these cookies.

Everything about these cookies was super easy, including eating them.  I seriously could not stop snacking on the little pieces of hardened toffee that were flecked with cayenne. Actually I may even just make a batch of toffee soon just so I can enjoy it again.

If you would like to know more about #CreativeCookieExchange and see what the other bakers made for the Herbs in Cookies theme please scroll down below the recipe. Thanks to Laura from The Spiced Life, who is our fearless leader.

Ginger-Chile Caramel Cookies
Printer Friendly Recipe

Cookies ~
  • 85g (6 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 90g (1 cup) crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10g (3 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 10g (4 teaspoons) ground ginger
Chile Caramel ~
  • (130g) 1 cup sugar 
  • pinch of ground cayenne
Cookies ~
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 ℃ (325°F).
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  3. Place the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger to a medium bowl and whisk to combine; set aside
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well.
  6. Gently stir the flour mixture to the butter mixture, being careful not to over mix.
  7. Fold in the crystallized ginger.
  8. 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 5cm (2 inches) apart.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are golden.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet while you make the Chile Caramel.
Chile Caramel ~
  1. Add sugar to a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved and turned a medium caramel color (keep a close eye on it as it can easily burn). 
  2. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the cayenne.
  3. Using a spoon, quickly (and carefully as it can leave a nasty burn) drizzle about one teaspoon of the hot caramel over each cookie. 
  4. When the caramel has set, transfer the cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack. 
  5. Any that are leftover cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Fresh or dried, fruity chile peppers add a great kick to your cookies. Looking for an example to try? Keep reading! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made ~


  1. So gorgeous and so different! Great cookie!

  2. I would call that toffee too! These sound wonderful Felice! Love your cake plate too!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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