Ingredients – (recipe adapted from Leite’s Culinaria)
For the cookies:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking sheets
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
For the chile caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of ground cayenne or hot chile powder (I added a little more!)
1. Preheat the oven to 325F (160°C). Butter 1 baking sheet.
2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the crystallized ginger.
3. Mix the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger in a separate bowl, then gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
4. 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 well apart, given that they will spread during baking.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cookies are golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet while you make the chile caramel.
6. Place the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved and turned a shade of brown that’s caramel but not yet dark brown. The sugar can burn quite easily (which will turn the caramel bitter and unusable), so stir it often and keep a close eye on it. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the cayenne or chile powder. Use it immediately before it starts to harden.
7. Using a spoon, carefully and quickly drizzle the hot caramel over the cookies any way you like. When the caramel has set (which happens quite quickly, a matter of minutes), transfer the cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack. Serve (eat) immediately.