This soft, candied form of fresh ginger root lends sparkle, complexity, and texture to all kinds of baked goods.
Using ground ginger can add some of the same tingly heat as crystallized, but you don't get the same chewy texture.
Crystallized ginger comes in many sizes, all of which are found in natural-foods stores, specialty stores, and increasingly, in supermarkets' spice sections. Whether you buy quarter-size rounds or chopped or diced crystallized ginger, be sure it's moist, pliable, and visibly coated with sugar granules.
Because it's is sticky, crystallized ginger can be frustrating to chop. To make it easier, coat your knife with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Rather than chopping randomly (which can cause clumping), cut it first into thin strips, then cut across the strips for a fine dice.
Kept in an airtight container, it will stay moist and fragrant for months.