My boyfriend’s mom received a bunch of ginger and the biggest Spanish onion I have ever seen in her misfits market order, so she commissioned me to make it into marmalade. She loves anything and everything ginger and famously incorporates it into much of her delicious cooking. I love peppercorn in a marmalade or jam to offset the sweetness, so that is how this recipe for ginger onion black pepper marmalade was born!

Dicing the onion as opposed to cutting it into strips allows it to sort of dissolve into the background and form a solid base on which the vibrant ginger strips can shine.

Enjoy this ginger onion black pepper marmalade as a sauce for chicken, fish, or meat or spread it on a crusty piece of bread with some yummy cheese.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 2×4-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the diced onion and 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes then add the sliced ginger. Cook for another 5-7 minutes until onion and ginger begin to soften. Add the water and sugar and cook on medium-high for 30 minutes, making sure to stir the mixture as it bubbles.

Add the remaining tablespoon of black pepper and the 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Spoon into mason jars and cover with lid while hot to allow the seal to form. 

With all of the endless horrors going on in the world right now, I, per usual, have channeled the stress and nervous energy I am feeling into cooking and baking. For me, it is quite meditative and relaxing and most importantly, creative. Now more than ever, it is so crucial to find creative outlets and forms of expression to offload and expel anxiety, negativity, pain. Cooking and baking are also pretty physical activities, and for me, it is essential that I exercise and move, especially as the weather is cooling down and it feels uncomfortable to go outside.

To me, these ginger molasses stars are a winter wonderland in cookie form. The layers of warm and cozy spices create a super complex and nuanced flavor which evenly spreads throughout every bite. Toasting the pecans releases more of the buttery pecan flavor which complements the maple glaze well.

Feel free to experiment with your extracts here. I personally love maple, but vanilla, almond, chocolate, rum, etc could all work beautifully.

With these cookies, the thicker you roll out the dough, the chewier the ginger molasses stars will be.


Makes about 2 dozen cookies


for the cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 1/4 pound) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup unsulfured molasses

for the glaze and topping

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2-3 tablespoons half and half or milk
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped

Cookie dough steps

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt and pepper and set aside.

Beat the butter and brown sugar using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until fluffy. Add in egg and molasses and beat until combined.

Slowly beat in the flour mixture until dough is evenly combined. Don’t overbeat.

Divide the dough into two and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a floured surface to about ⅓ of an inch thick and cut into star shapes. Bake for 10-12 minutes. They will be soft when you remove them from the oven but will solidify and become chewy once they cool.

Glaze and topping steps

Place confectioners sugar, corn syrup, half and half, and maple extract in a bowl. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Dip tops of stars into glaze, allowing the excess to drip off the sides. 

Sprinkle with pecans and place on cooling rack until glaze dries and hardens.