When it comes to gifts a big canister of cookies is hands down the best present you can ever give. Especially if that present is to be delivered by mail. Who doesn’t like cutting through packaging tape to find an unexpected stockpile of cookies? I dare say if there is a person out there who can resist immediately eating at least 2 on the spot I want you to hunt them down and turn them into the authorities for offensive sourpussery.
I celebrate everyone I know by sending them a gigantic container of cookies for their birthday. I have about 2000 nieces and nephews so buying them all gifts can get a little out of hand not to mention cookies are way more personal than some toy they are going to forget about the day after they open it, or a lame-o gift certificate. I employ my children in the effort so they feel invested in the gift. They help make the cookies, decorate the containers, and make a cute card—violá gift goddess strikes again.
We made these celebration cookies for my nephew Joshua’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. He was turning 5 and you know, that’s kind of a big deal….to Joshua…..whose birthday I kind of forgot. Because of my belatedness we had to up to ante, no plain ‘ol chocolate chip for that guy, nope, I had to pull out the big guns. If you are in need of a really special, exceptionally delicious cookie this is it.
They take a little work with all the rolling and filling and sandwiching and such but the lemon-ginger combo is out of this world. Let me just start by saying, these ginger cookies, by themselves, are hands down the best ginger cookies you will ever eat. They are soft, chewy, and perfectly spicy without being too in your face. I beg of you to eat one warm right out of the oven. You will momentarily be transported to heaven and you won’t regret it. But ginger is no wimp, you’ve got to have some umph to stand up to it and this lemon filling does the job, it is bright and tart and of course very buttery.
I could go on forever about these cookies but I can’t. Little Lucas’s birthday was five days ago and I have yet to make his cookies.
For the Dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup for rolling
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
For the Filling:
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
For the Dough:
- Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange the racks in the upper and lower sections of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.
- Combine the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
- Combine the 3/4 cup sugar and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and molasses and beat until smooth, about a minute more.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Wrap half of the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Divide remaining dough into roughly 32 heaping teaspoon sized rounds and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Place the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar in a bowl. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and roll each ball in the sugar to coat. Space the balls about an inch apart on the baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating them from the upper and lower racks halfway through. They will still be soft when they are done.
- Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely before frosting.
For the Filling:
- Place the powdered sugar, butter, and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until mixture looks crumbly. Gradually increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer to low and add lemon extract and juice and beat until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy.
- When cookies are completely cool, spread or pipe about 1 heaping teaspoon of filling onto the flat side of half the cookies. Top with another cookie and press to help them stick together and flatten the frosting.
- Cookies keep sealed in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost (tightly wrapped) at room temperature.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 2g