It does look more like a lolly of some sort - but this is a type of preserved ginger. In fact this is young ginger that has been cooked in a sugar syrup - you can find them sold with the syrup or without, as in the case in this instance.
I wouldn't recommend treating like a lolly though, while sweet they have an intense ginger kick.
I'll be using this stem ginger to make Gingernuts - these cookies are a great favourite in Australia and the UK. In fact, the recipe is from one of my latest cookbooks, The Great British Book of Baking. This is the book that accompanied first series of The Great British Bake-Off. Interestingly, I've recently heard that an Australian version is on the cards - hopefully they won't stuff it up like they did with Australian Masterchef.
I've just made a few minor adjustments to the recipe but it will still create the perfect crackly topped gingernut.
[Makes 25 large]
350 grams self-raising flour
150 grams golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 egg, lightly beaten
125 grams butter
80 grams golden syrup
30 grams stem ginger, very finely diced
Place the butter, golden syrup and ginger in a pan and melt gently over a low heat - stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
Sift together the self-raising flour, sugar, bicarb and ground sugar into a bowl - make a well in the center, pour in the beaten egg, followed by the cooled butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Divide the mixture into 25 portions (roughly 30 grams of dough) - roll into balls and then flatten slightly.
Place these discs onto a baking tray - making sure you leave plenty of room for them to expand.
Bake in a preheated 170°C for about 20 minutes or until golden - check after 15 minutes to ensure they browning evenly - if not, adjust the tray. If you make smaller ones, naturally you'll have to decrease the cooking time.
When cooked, you'll need to let them sit on the tray for a little while to set as they are quite soft straight from the oven. When firm enough, move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
These aren't like the commercial gingernuts which can be so hard that they break your teeth - they are firm and crisp but also chewy and the ginger flavour, thanks to the stem ginger, sings through the cookie. If you enjoy ginger flavoured cookies, then you mustn't just put them on your to do list, you really need to get out there and make them.