A new friend in Mulegé surprised us the other day with a large bunch of fresh ginger root. We hadn’t been able to find any in the local stores and we were sadly missing one of our favorite cooking ingredients. This morning as a gesture of thanks we decided to make her some ginger cookies. However, first we had to head into town and buy some molasses, a key ingredient in many a ginger baked good.
We should have done a little online research before heading out regarding the availability of and name for molasses in Mexico. However, after spending time in Newfoundland where molasses is a major staple ingredient we have become used to seeing it on the shelves in the baking section. Turns out that it is really not a common find in most Mexican grocery stores. However, after cobbling together some Spanish vocabulary including duro (hard), negro (black), and azúcar (sugar) we were shown a promising product by the very helpful cashier.
When we returned to our rental house and did a Google search we found out that what we bought is called Jarabe de Piloncillo. It is an unrefined cane sugar sold in cones, and similar to molasses it as retains its vitamins and nutrients. We came across a great post from PsyKdeliaSmith’s Kitchen that explains all about piloncillo and how to cook with it.
The kids thought that it tasted very delicious and they liked helping as we chopped it up and boiled it into a liquid form. Then we used it in the Molasses Ginger Cookies recipe posted by Kathy Patalsky on her blog Healthy. Happy. Life. The cookies turned out wonderfully! However, the first batch was way too gingery for our tastes, so for the next batch we only added 1 Tbs. of ginger powder. We also decided to drizzle some of the finished cookies with a little melted dark chocolate because, well, dark chocolate is just so yummy! This evening as we walked down the river to deliver the cookies we were very glad that ginger lead us to piloncillo.