Let's get this right out of the way straight up! I would never have thought to play around with the amounts of ginger and chocolate that I have today, had I not become drawn into the monthly chocolate extravaganza called 'We Should Cocoa'. This month, Jen over at Blue Kitchen Bakes is hosting and she likes the ginger/ chocolate connection! Who knew that putzing about with a favorite recipe and digging about on the Internet would make for such a happy accident as these little sandwich cookies?
I DO love a good cookie, don't you? These are very reminiscent of an old chestnut from the cookie inventory called apple cream pennies ... I blogged about them here. They are a semi-soft sandwich cookie with a cream cheese and apple butter frosting filling. They are best chilled to 'set up' the frosting and them stored loosely covered on a platter, that is, if they last that long. The recipe makes just two and a half dozen cookies - small potatoes in our house when the kids were around. With just the two of us, these cookies will last four or five days. I know, we're bad. Please don't hate us!
The thing about these cookies (and the apple cream pennies) is that they take time and puttering around to make them. Some people don't like rolled cookies because of the chilling time it takes to set up the dough, the mess of rolling and cutting, the cleaning up and then the icing or decorating that most rolled cookies involve. I admit. I have to be in the right mood to make rolled cookies, which means that I don't muck around with any recipe that is not worthy of my time and energy. Just sayin' ...
These are pretty worthy, folks ...
For those of you who don't make rolled and iced cookies that often, here are a few thoughts. If the dough is sticky, don't worry about adding a sprinkling of flour to the top of the dough ball and working it in with your hands to warm the chilled dough up a bit. Then, keep a floured rolling surface and rub the flour on the rolling pin only so that the top of the cookie surface isn't swamped with flour.
Let the dough be the full quarter inch thickness when cutting out the cookies, as a thicker cookie will bake up soft and 'bite-able' with the creamy filling. A thin brittle cookie will spurt filling all over your cheeks or lap when you try to take a bite ... the voice of experience here. Just sayin' ...
DO chill the cookies once they have been cut out, as this chilled state allows the cookies to cook more gently and remain soft and moist without spreading excessively on the cookie sheets.
DO pair up the sandwiches and plop the icing on all the halves before topping them with the other cookie half. Why, you ask? Because there is nothing more frustrating than misjudging the amount of frosting and running out with completed cookies on the platter and a bunch of stragglers with nothing to plop on them. If this happens when you don't top the cookies, you can 'rob Peter to pay Paul' and get an equal amount of frosting on all the cookies. THEN, place the tops and squish them together to make beautiful little uniform sandwiches.
So ... on to the recipe! I hope you enjoy these little sandwich cookies! We like them with our hot Earl Grey tea.
Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Ginger Cookies
2½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. cocoa powder
½ tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
12 tbsp. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ c. packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
½ c. unsulfured dark molasses
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger root
Sanding sugar for sprinkling ( leave out if using these cookies for sandwich cookies)
Making the Cookies:
- Whisk together the first nine ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- beat the butter and brown sugar in a deep bowl for about five minutes, until the sugar crystals begin to break down and the mixture is creamy and golden brown.
- Add the egg, molasses and grated ginger and continue beating until completely mixed in.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix by hand until a sticky dough is formed and all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Place two large pieces of plastic wrap on the counter and divide the dough evenly.
- Wrap the dough balls snugly and flatten them to round disks. Chill the dough for one hour.
- Flour the rolling surface and plop a dough ball down, roll out the dough to ¼-inch thickness and cut with your favorite ‘roundish’ cookie cutter … about 2 ½ to 3 inch diameter.
- Place the cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets about an inch apart. Chill the cookies on the sheets for 20 minutes.
- While the cookies chill, preheat the oven to 325° F.
- Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are irm, but have a soft give to the surfaces.
- Remove the cookies immediately from the cookie sheets and cool them on a cool, foil-lined surface.
- Pair the cookies up into sandwich pairs and place a dollop of frosting on one half.
- Top, squish, and place the cookies on a platter. Cover loosely and store in a cool place so that the frosting can ‘set up’.
Mrs. Field'sApple-Ginger Cream Frosting
1- 8 oz brick of Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese)
¼ c. confectioner’s sugar
¼ c. apple butter
1 tbsp. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
¼ tsp. ground ginger