Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Prophetic Ginger Shortbread with Ginger Icing
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo, Pika-So, GilArda

This recipe was invented by chance when Aragorn was growing up in Rivendell; both he and Arwen were very young when they met, and they actually ran into one another — literally! — in the kitchens of the palace. It was not unusual for noble and royal children to undergo training in servants' work, the better to have compassion for those who toiled under them, and to better learn to be a good manager. So, they started at the bottom and both happened to be in the pastry kitchen on a particular day when a shipment of precious spices had been delivered to Elrond as a tribute from the south lands of Harad.

Aragorn had spent all morning helping with the processing of the spices, and he was responsible for a large quantity of dried ginger which had to be tediously ground in a stone mill. Arwen was carrying big bowls of shortbread dough and icing made from powdered sugar — a rare commodity — but she was young and didn't heed warnings to be careful. She was teetering along, balancing the bowls in outstretched arms, when Queen Beruthiel — a black cat belonging to Elrond — streaked into the kitchen, between the young girl's legs! Arwen tottered, but was rescued by the young Aragorn, who held her up; but in doing so, he had left his ginger grinding, and the cat ran right into rare spice that had been piled alongside the mill!

The puff of ginger caused the two youngsters to sneeze and fall. They managed to keep the bowls of expensive batter and icing upright, but the pile of ginger started to move as the cat ran past it, and to prevent the powder from hitting the dirt floor of the kitchen, they both instinctively pushed the bowls beneath the falling yellow-brown spice!

When it was all over and Queen Beruthiel shooed out, the two youngsters saw with dismay that there was no way to remove all the powdered spice from the batters. Hiding their mishap, Aragorn helped Arwen knead and stir the spice into the mixtures, and while it was in the oven, Arwen helped grind up more spice so that Aragorn would not get into trouble for producing less powder than he was ordered.

Despite the fact that both young people were punished for their carelessness and deception, their creation was celebrated by all who feasted at Rivendell thereafter. The gingery shortbread was wonderful, and the ginger icing the perfect topping! Thus was foretold the successful union of the future King of Men and his Elven Queen.

    Ginger Shortbread Base
  • 4 oz / 125 g butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
Heat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a lasagne pan (9" x 13") or lipped cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper, so that the lining goes up the sides and overlaps the edges a bit — this will make taking the base out a lot simpler.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Sieve together the baking powder, flour and ginger. Mix these two things together, and press the mixture firmly and evenly into the prepared pan, like a crust. Bake for about 10 minutes until lightly browned — the cookie base will be soft. Pour the icing over the still-hot base immediately, spreading to get the icing evenly over the whole base.

After the warm icing is spread over the warm base, leave it to cool completely before trying to cut or remove the slice from the pan. The icing needs to set solid or it will ooze off the base.

    Ginger Icing
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 5 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1½ tablespoons water
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Heat the butter, ginger, syrup and water together in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts, but do not boil it. Beat in the powdered sugar and blend well. It's best to prepare this while the base is baking so that it's warm when the base is done.

Serves about 20 pieces, or however many you want to cut. The most elegant presentation is long, thin "fingers" to serve with hot tea.

Figurine from The Noble Collection; "Wedding Set" dolls from Mattel.

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