Before everyone eats themselves into cookie oblivion, I (Jess) have to add one more recipe to your must-bake list. Lately I’ve been perfecting my cookie skills, and with all this taste-testing I consider myself to be quite the connoisseur! So, you can trust me when I say that although these spicy ginger creams may not be quite what you expected this Christmas, they put just the right spin on tradition to make your holiday ever so exciting. Perfectly spiced, the thin cookies are sandwiched between layers of orange cream cheese frosting to make delectable little stacks. Keep reading for the recipe!
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee at room temperature
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 4 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Zest of one orange
- To prepare cookies, sift together flour, pepper, ground ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
- In a small bowl stir together molasses and coffee. In a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed beat together butter and brown sugar until light and creamy.
- With mixer at low speed beat in gingerroot. Beat in flour mixture alternately with molasses mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Divide dough into thirds. Form each third into a ball and flatten to form disks. Chill disks, wrapped separately in plastic wrap, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Break off egg-size pieces from 1 disk (keep remaining 2 disks chilled) and with heel of hand smear each piece once in a forward motion. Gather pieces together and give dough a few smears to bring together. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 disks.
- On a lightly floured work surface roll out one third of dough into a 22- by 8-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick), making sure dough is not sticking to surface (use a pastry scraper to lift dough; sprinkle surface with additional flour if sticking). With a 2-inch gingerbread man cutter or 3 1/2-inch candy cane cutter cut out shapes, transferring with a spatula to baking sheets and arranging about 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake cookies in batches in lower third of oven 6 to 8 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer cookies to racks to cool.
- To prepare filling, combine the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest and mix at low speed until combined.
- Assemble multi-layered sandwiches by alternating cookies and filling as desired.
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