I wanted to share this with you on Monday, but after reading so many posts about the victims of Newtown, Connecticut, I didn’t think I could. I was going to make a post saying how my heart goes out to the friends and families of the victims as well as the community of the city, but I couldn’t talk about such tragedy with something happy such as sandwich cookies. I know I’m kind of doing that now, but I feel I should say at least something. So make sure to hug your loved ones just a little longer and harder this holiday season.
I have so many baking ideas for this holiday season, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do it all. I’ve even bought eggnog (something I have yet to try, but love the smell of so far) and I don’t even have a recipe for anything with eggnog!
One thing that I can cross off my holiday baking list is gingerbread. I did not make traditional gingerbread men; instead I made gingerbread sandwich cookies! These things are truly amazing. I think I had five
(or was it six?) the day I made these. I was a bad girl, but they just
kept getting better and better!
The cookie is so soft and bakes up super big and puffy! The gingerbread flavor is really out of this world. Last year I made traditional gingerbread men, but I didn’t really like them because the cookies were crunchy, and if you’re new to this blog, you’ll need to know I had flat and crunchy cookies. Flat and crunchy have no purpose when it comes to cookies.
The ginger cream cheese frosting is the most amazing thing ever. I think cream cheese frosting is my favorite frosting ever because it’s never too sweet, like I find buttercream frosting to be. I couldn’t really detect the ginger in the frosting, but you can see the ginger flecks, and that looks real pretty.
These cookies are actually the first sandwich cookie recipe I have made. There is something so calming about sitting in front of a row of cookies and a bowl of frosting.
Molasses Cookies with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
From The Pastry Affair
Makes 16 sandwich cookies
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking power
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ cup dark brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
Ginger Cream Cheese Filling
2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
½ tsp. ginger
Pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
To make the cookies: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Set the bowl aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Pour in the molasses. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed; the mixture will look a little curdled. Decrease the mixer’s speed to low and gradually add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat until all the flour has been incorporated. Take a medium-small cookie scoop (I used one that’s about 1 ¼-1 ½ inches in diameter) and portion out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Space the dough about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine were perfect at 7:55 minutes). Cool the cookies on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Allow the cookies to cool completely before filling.
To make the filling: beat the cream cheese and butter until completely incorporated. Add the ginger and salt. Gradually add the sugar. By that I mean at a tbsp. or two at a time. Powdered sugar is a pain to clean when it flies everywhere. Refrigerate the filling for 5-10 minutes. Pile a tsp. or two onto the flat bottoms of half the cooled cookies. Place the remaining unfrosted cookies on top of the frosting. Keep cookies in the fridge in a sealed container.