No-Bake, Super-Easy Chocolate-Orange Gingersnap Drops
I received a copy of The Messy Bakerbook by Charmian Christie and was immediately drawn in by the title. Baking can be a messy business. Believe me, I would never let a bride see her cake in the midst of being prepared. There are some ugly phases! Not to mention the fact that I get covered with butter stains and flour as well as the counter. But I know from talking with so many of you that one of the reasons you bake at home is because you love the process, so I say, embrace the mess! This recipe for Chocolate-Orange Gingersnap Drops embraces Charmian’s breezy approach to baking and dessert making. No need to turn on the oven but while these chocolaty rich treats are simple, the gingersnaps and orange create an elegant flavor profile. Try her Welsh Griddle Cakes, too and read our interview.
Excerpted with permission. The Messy Baker: More Than 75 Delicious Recipes from a Real Kitchenby Charmian Christie. Published by Rodale Books, 2014.
I wanted to include a recipe for orange-ginger chocolate cheesecake. But it was too big, took too long, was too rich, had too many layers. So I took the basic trio of flavors and made a simple, decadent, truffly thing that delivered the flavors in a bite-size package. I’m calling it a drop because you simply drop the mixture into a mini paper liner. No hours of baking. No water bath. And they’re so small, there’s almost no guilt. These are melt-in-your-hands treats, so be sure to have napkins nearby.
- ¾ cup walnuts
- 1 cup roughly crushed commercial gingersnaps (about 10, or 4 ounces)
- ⅓ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Peel of 1 navel orange, finely grated
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup golden corn syrup or Lyle's golden syrup
- 7 ounces dark baking chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped into small pieces
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Place 30 mini paper liners or truffle cups on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning, or until they are fragrant. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Place the gingersnaps in a heavy resealable plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin or bottle. You will be dropping the mixture by heaping tablespoons, so you want the crumbs to be small enough to fit into the mini paper liners, but not fine like graham cracker crumbs. Empty the crumbs into a large bowl. Chop the walnuts and add to the crumbs along with the ginger and orange peel. Toss to distribute evenly and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and syrup. Gently bring to a boil. As soon as the sauce begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth. Beat in the egg. Pour over the crumb mixture and stir until all the dry ingredients are fully coated.
- Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of chocolate mixture into each paper liner. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve cold with plenty of napkins. These can get messy.
- Citrus zest can be bitter if you grate off any of the white pith. You can use the fine holes of a box grater or a microplane. Microplanes are very sharp and can take off too much zest if you’re too enthusiastic. Grate with a light hand and go back and forth only two or three times before turning the orange.