ginger turmeric cookies

I’ve recently discovered the miracle that is plagiarizing one’s own recipes, instead of plagiarizing other people’s recipes! It all started in Kuta, Bali, when I went to the morning market for a cooking class. The first thing our instructor pointed out to us was the ginger and turmeric. I have a notoriously delicate stomach, and as ginger is a stomach aid, I am absolutely in love with the stuff. My lifetime cure-all is Gingerale, even if I’m not having stomach issues. While Mister I-Forgot-His-Name-Immediately was explaining the difference between the various types of gingers, galangal, and turmeric, I was thinking of cookies.


I am usually thinking of cookies. In fact, a great deal of my grocery planning involves thinking of what type of cookies to buy for my mid-morning snack/lunch #1 at work, and I inevitably always go with the chocolate and coffee shortbread (they’re crack, I swear.)

Looking at the stubby little gingers and turmeric in the baskets, I wondered, “if I can add lemon to a sugar cookie and make a lemon cookie…can I add ginger to a sugar cookie and make crack?” The answer is, “duh.” (Yes.)

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I took the lemon sugar cookie recipe, made a few changes, and added some grated ginger, ground ginger, and turmeric (for color, so I wouldn’t confuse them with other sugar cookies and so you the viewer could tell that obviously I had done something different.) I wanted to make something ginger-y but simpler and lighter than molasses cookies. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about molasses and brown sugar and…rum…but I had an urge to see if I could do something else.

And they were a success! They’re light like the lemon cookies, but with an obvious ginger flavor and no bitterness from the turmeric. The dough is much lighter and softer than the lemon cookie dough, but I didn’t need to use any more flour than it says in the recipe.

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ginger turmeric cookies, with homemade crystallized ginger

based loosely on the lemon sugar cookies

makes approximately 2 dozen cookies


crystallized ginger

a piece of fresh ginger (any size, depending on how much you want)

granulated sugar


Peel the ginger and slice it paper thin.

Put it in a pot and cover with water. Put on the stove and turn the heat on to high. bring it to a boil.

Boil the ginger for 30 – 60 minutes, until it becomes darker and a little bit rubbery. Drain, but save some of the ginger water.

Weigh the ginger and measure out the same amount of granulated sugar.

Add sugar, ginger, and some ginger water (30 – 60 ml) back to the pot and put over high heat.

Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer over low heat. Let it simmer, stirring often, for ~20 minutes, or until syrup crystallizes, but don’t let it turn brown.

Drain the ginger (you can keep the syrup if you want.)

Fill a cookie sheet or baking pan with a thin layer of granulated sugar. Toss the ginger in the the sugar, separating any pieces that are stuck together. Let it cool, and save the crystallized ginger any way you want.



ginger turmeric cookies

113 g unsalted butter, softened

120 g granulated sugar, plus a little extra for coating the dough

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg, at room temperature

2 T grated fresh ginger

240 g all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for shaping the dough

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

crystallized ginger pieces, cut to desired size, for topping


If using a conventional oven, preheat to 350 F/175 C.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

[Edit 06/2016] In a small bowl, combine flour, ground ginger, ground turmeric, baking powder, and salt. 

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. Beat in vanilla extract.

Beat in egg and mix until pale and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

Beat in grated ginger in 3-4 additions, beating well after each addition.

Slowly beat in flour mixture, in about 8 additions, and beat on high after each addition. The dough should feel like frosting but not stick to your hands. You should be able to roll it gently into a ball.

Put extra granulated sugar into a shallow bowl.

Scooping dough out with a spoon, roll it into balls about 3 centimeters in diameter. Flour your hands occasionally if needed.

Roll the balls in the bowl of sugar, then place on cookie sheet about 3 centimeters apart. Top with a piece of crystallized ginger.

Bake for 10 minutes, until they puff up and look dry. If they look wet, shiny, or dark in the middle, bake for an extra minute. If using a toaster oven, toast at 740 W for 10 minutes.

Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Having the time-eric of my life,

Nick P.

Categories: cookies


    • kitchenklutzblog


      You’re absolutely right! Sometimes I overlook things. Thanks for pointing it out to me!

  • Kiana

    Thanks for the recipe! Looking forward to trying it for a holiday cookie exchange party. I was looking for something exotic and bursting with flavor.

    • kitchenklutzblog

      Hey, Kiana,

      I’m glad you like the recipe! Definitely let me know what you and the party think after trying the recipe (feedback is always appreciated)! They’re very ginger-y, and the turmeric was mainly for color. You could also play around with different amounts of turmeric, or adding galangal for more earthy flavor. Alternately, just pack in the ginger. I’m all about going the whole nine yards with spices: if I’m going to use a spice, I’m going to use a lot of it.

  • Karen

    We grow turmeric and ginger so I’m always looking for recipes using the rhizomes. I made the cookies for the first time today, and it is a keeper! Since I don’t have a scale I had to do a rough conversion, and I may add just a bit more flour next time. To top them off, I melted a dark chocolate candy bar with 1/4 tsp coconut oil then drizzled over the tops. I refrigerated until the chocolate set! Delicious, pretty….and holiday healthy!!!

    • kitchenklutzblog

      I’m glad they worked out for you and that sounds delicious (the chocolate and coconut oil)! You could even add some crystallized ginger, ground ginger, galangal, and turmeric to the chocolate for extra spice!

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