This past week has been filled with the typical pre-Christmas craziness. I finished up all my shopping last weekend and got my last box of gifts wrapped and in the mail this morning. I ‘adopted’ a kid off the Angel Tree at work this year and had so much fun shopping for him last weekend. Boomer’s Christmas present also arrived last week- I got him a new dog bed and he loves it!
In addition to shopping I’ve done quite a bit of baking lately- and most of it has been ginger and molasses flavored! I debating making these amazing Cranberry Bliss Bars for a cookie exchange but at the last minute I decided to try out a new recipe. It’s always a little risky doing a new recipe for an exchange, especially when I was making some adaptations to the recipe, but it turned out great and the cookies were a huge hit at the cookie exchange. The cookies have a slightly crispy edge and a soft, chewy center. I loved the combination of the ginger cookie and the cream cheese filling. If you have trouble finding the candied ginger try looking in the supplements section of your grocery store. The candied, or crystallized, ginger adds great texture to the cookies but if you can’t find it the cookies will still turn out really well.
- 2 cups (9 oz.) all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup chopped crystallized (or candied) ginger
- ½ cup coarse sugar for rolling
- 5 oz. cream cheese, chilled
- 3½ tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
- zest from 1 lemon
- Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Mix in the molasses, egg and vanilla and stir until well combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and the candied ginger. Mix until just incorporated.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Pour the coarse sugar into a shallow bowl. Scoop out cookies into 1-inch balls and slightly flatten the ball between your hands. Roll the cookie disk in the sugar then place on the pan. Repeat with the remaining cookies then bake for about 10 minutes until the cookies are just set on the edges. The center of the cookies should still be soft. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the cream cheese frosting by creaming the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Decrease the speed and add the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Then, increase the speed again to medium-high and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and lemon zest. Frost half of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies to make a sandwich.
Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures and Annie’s Eats