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Ginger Molasses Sandwich Cookies

Ginger Molasses Sandwich Cookies

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 I got the idea for these cookies while shopping at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago. They were sampling their store brand of ginger snaps. What really struck my fancy was that they offered a dollop of mascarpone mixed with mango chutney to go with it. It was incredible! While their cookies are good, I'm not a huge fan of buying store-bought cookies in the first place (self-proclaimed homemade cookie snob here!) or crunchy ones for that matter. I'm more of a soft and chewy cookie lover. I thought I could make my own version even better, for sure! I wanted to up the spicy ginger flavor, so I chopped up some of their candied ginger for the dough. I opted for the uncrystallized version...I didn't want it to be too sweet. The results are pretty great, if I do say so myself! The cookies are thin and chewy but hold up well as a sandwich. The filling is just sweet enough with a little kick from the chutney. I love the slight crunch the granulated sugar gives the exterior of the cookies.  This would also be fantastic with ginger vanilla ice cream instead of the mascarpone filling. I'll have to try that with the kids this summer!

 whisking dry ingredients together incorporates them and eliminates the need to sift.

whisking dry ingredients together incorporates them and eliminates the need to sift.

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus extra
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cups finely chopped uncrystallized candied ginger

Filling Ingredients

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened slightly
  • 1/2 cup (store purchased) mango chutney
 the ginger molasses cookie dough smells fantastic!

the ginger molasses cookie dough smells fantastic!

Directions:  

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Finely chop up the ginger and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl after well blended.  Mix in the molasses. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Sprinkle a teaspoon of the mixture over the top ginger. It will help to prevent the pieces from clumping together when mixing into the dough. Separate the pieces with your fingers.

 a dusting of flour over the ginger keeps them from clumping together 

a dusting of flour over the ginger keeps them from clumping together 

Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixture on low, a bit at a time. Don't overmix. Stir in the floured ginger pieces by hand. Using a small scoop or disher, shape dough into balls (appropriately 1/2 inch each) and roll in a small bowl of granulated sugar until completely covered.  Space at least 2-3 inches apart (cookies with spread).

 granulated sugar coating helps them to hold shape and gives a light, crispy exterior.

granulated sugar coating helps them to hold shape and gives a light, crispy exterior.

Bake for 8-11 minutes; look for them to be slightly browned and the edges to appear dry and rounded. They puff up considerably while baking but deflate when cooling. Leave them on the cookie sheet for another 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling grid.

 they spread out, so be sure to space them or you'll end up with one giant cookie!

they spread out, so be sure to space them or you'll end up with one giant cookie!

When cookies are completely cooled, mix together the mascarpone and chutney and spread a thin layer onto the flat side of one cookie with a small offset spatula or knife. Complete the sandwich by grabbing another cookie of approximately the same size, pressing slightly onto the filling. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days. They taste amazing chilled!

 sweet, spicy, creamy & crunchy...that covers all the cravings, right?

sweet, spicy, creamy & crunchy...that covers all the cravings, right?

yield: 4 1/2 dozen individual cookies or 2 dozen sandwiches plus some extra for snacking!

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