I hadn't intended to become addicted to something new. It just happened. I was minding my own business in the baking aisle of our village grocery store and they appeared as if by demon magic.
Let me digress for a moment and just ask, what kind of nefarious grocer combines the "I'm going to bake cookies" aisle and "I'm an already baked cookie" aisle?
To continue, I spied a box of Carr's Ginger Lemon Cremes and I was a goner.
I bought them. I ate them. I bought some more. I ate those. And then I put horse blinders on and went back to the grocery store with a belly full of ginger and lemon, stomped down that baking aisle and bought ingredients to make my own.
GINGERSNAPS with LEMON/LEMON BASIL CREAM
(makes 33 sandwich cookies)
(makes 33 sandwich cookies)
For the cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup Sugar in the Raw to finish
Preheat oven to 350º.
Line a half sheet pan with parchment. Place a second sheet pan beneath the first to create a "double pan." This keeps the bottoms of the cookies from over browning. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, powdered ginger, cinnamon and white pepper. Whisk for 30 seconds to distribute the leavening. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Mix on high until the mixture is light, fluffy and significantly lighter. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the molasses and grated ginger and mix to combine. Add the egg and oil and mix until combined.
Add the flour all at once and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1/2 hour.
Using a teaspoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough and dip the top in the Sugar in the Raw. Place on the sheet pan and flatten with the palm of your hand. Space the cookies an inch apart. Place the remaining dough in the fridge until you're ready to use it. I only bake off one sheet pan of cookies at a time, placed in the center of the oven.
Bake for 9 minutes. Spin the baking pan 180º and gently "slam" the pan down the deflate the cookies a bit. Bake for 9 minutes more or until the cookies are baked through. They should be crisp throughout, slightly browned on the edge but check to make sure they don't overly brown. Allow to cool completely. Continue baking off cookies until all the dough is baked off. NOTE: check your cookies after 4-5 minutes after you've turned the sheet pan. Ovens differ and you may have to bake your cookies a few minutes more or less than indicated.
For the filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
zest of half a lemon
juice of half a lemon
OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemon basil (gives a lovely aromatic and fresh quality to the filling)
OPTIONAL: pinch citric acid (this gives the filling a true tartness. It's available online or in baking supply stores)
Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. mix until smooth.
Place a scant teaspoon on the underside of one ginger cookie and then place another on top. Press the cookies gently together to smoosh the filing evenly between the two.