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Crystallized Ginger Butter Squares

(recipe, Barbara Tropp)

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A very elegant and simple cookie, this is the perfect choice to accompany that cup of fragrant tea. Spiced with ginger and orange zest, it is also a happy match for all of our other cookies. Be sure to give the orange a good soapy scrub and an equally good rinse before grating. It will taste zestier and brighter for the bath.


  1. 4 oz. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  2. ⅓ cup sugar
  3. 1 extra-large egg yolk
  4. 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  5. ⅓ cup (2 ounces) chopped crystallized ginger (¼-inch bits)
  6. 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg yolk and mix until blended. Add the flour, ginger, and orange zest, and mix until combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Gather the dough together and place on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape and mold into a 4-by-4½-inch block, 1 inch thick. Use the plastic wrap to help shape the sticky dough. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Move a rack to the top third of the oven. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut the block of dough into four 1-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip into ¼-inch-wide slices. Place the cookies ½ inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. One sheet at a time, bake until the cookies are firm and the edges are lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets set on wire racks.