Spots, streaks, splashes, flour, and butter are just a few things obstructing my vision today, as I've been busy in my kitchen trying to perfect a dynamite sandwich cookie. With little time to breath, let alone clean my glasses, it's been nothing but cookies for days. I've been experimenting with chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger. I've made butter cream, marshmallow puff, and cream cheese icing, madly trying to create the ultimate sandwich/cookie combo. To be considered an ultimate sandwich cookie, the ratio needs to be perfect. A perfect ratio of sweetness, chewiness, and creaminess. To accomplish this, one needs to be sweeter than the other, the cookie or the filling. I prefer a sweet cookie with a milder frosting, more cheesy than sweet. The cookie needs to be soft and chewy with a slightly crisp outer layer, to balance out the creamy softness of the filling.
After much consideration and a hefty amount of sugar, I've settled on a spiced ginger cookie with a cream cheese filling. This recipe surely takes home the cake, or I suppose the cookie in this situation. My apartment, clothes, dog, etc. have a lingering aroma of spiced ginger and molasses, and I am extremely pleased with this situation. There are sticky cream cheese finger prints everywhere, obviously something I am less happy about. I've just poured myself a cup of coffee in my new french press, and am about to enjoy a wonderful sugar sandwich. Life just doesn't get any better than this.
makes 24 cookies
recipe adapted from Tasha DeSerio via Fine Cooking
prep time: 20 minutes + 1 hour cool in fridge
cook time: 10 -14 minutes
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (12.5 tsp) butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar + 1/2 cup for rolling
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz cream cheese, softened
5 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set to the side.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set to the side.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat the butter and both sugars with a hand mixer or (with the paddle attachment) on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla. Beat until incorporated. Turn the electric mixer or (stand mixer) to low, and slowly add the flour. Mix until all the flour has been incorporated. Remove the dough from the bowl, and shape into a round flat disk. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Place 1/2 cup of granulated sugar into a small bowl. Scoop a teaspoon of dough into you hands and roll into a small ball. Dip the ball into the sugar to coat the outside. Place the cookie onto the baking sheet, ensuring that each cookie is placed at least 2 inches apart.
Once you have placed all the cookies onto the baking sheet, coat the bottom of a drinking glass with butter. Dip the glass into the sugar, and press slightly the top of the cookie. It's more like a tap, then a press. You made need to re-coat the bottom of the glass with sugar multiple times to prevent sticking.
Bake for 10 - 14 minutes (smaller cookies need less time), until the cookies have begun to harden on the outsides, but still feel soft on the inside. When poked, the cookie should hold its shape. Cool the cookies completely on a wire wrack.
While the cookies are cooling, mix the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer, or (stand mixer with the paddle attachment) until creamy.
Once the cookies have cooled, spread a tsp of the cream cheese icing on the flat side of a cookie. Place another cookie on top forming a sandwich. Refrigerate for up to a week.