Friday, November 25, 2022

Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

Two ginger sandwich cookies, filled with lemon cream cheese filling, photographed on a red snowflake plate

Welcome to my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies! Leading up to Christmas I will post 12 different cookie recipes that you or your family may enjoy. I tend to stick with flavors that I connect with the holidays: ginger and similar spices, mincemeat, candied fruit, peppermint, and eggnog. I will say that because of needing to post on my blog, and the fact that I bake a couple of traditional items for the holidays, I started baking my Christmas cookies a while ago. It’s never too early for mincemeat, right?

The ingredients in these cookies are quite standard, and you may already have them in your cupboard. Lemon extract is the most unusual ingredient, but you could use the juice of a lemon or some other substitute. After reading the reviews, I did cut back the amount of lemon extract and powdered sugar. The original recipe called for 2 teaspoons of lemon extract, and that is likely too much for any recipe.

The dough chills for quite a while, and since it contains shortening, it never gets as hard as other doughs I have made. While baking, they look a lot like peanut butter cookies since you make a crisscross pattern which is traditional with other cookies. These cookies would be a good choice for any type of cookie stamp that you may have. This particular cookie, with its combination of ginger and lemon, bridges the gap between a fall cookie and a Christmas cookie, and it couldn’t be any better.

Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2-1/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large mixer bowl, beat the shortening and brown sugar on medium until light. Mix in the egg and molasses. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Flatten with a fork in a crisscross pattern.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set. Allow to cool before forming into sandwich cookies.

Make the filling: in a large mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter and mix on medium until incorporated. Add the powdered sugar, lemon extract, and vanilla. Beat until the filling is smooth, but is strong enough to sandwich the cookies together. Match the cookies up by size and spread the filling on half of the cookies, then pair them with a similarly sized cookie.

Recipe from Carol Walston via Taste of Home

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