Ginger Cookie Sandwiches with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

After spending all of January baking, and then planning to do a lot of Valentine’s baking this week, I decided to take this past weekend off. I wanted a break from having desserts in the apartment. But an early morning Sunday Pinterest session put an end to this plan. I saw a picture of these cookies and just had to have them (it didn’t help that I happened to have all of the necessary ingredients in my kitchen already). I was also planning to go to a Super Bowl party that evening. And here’s the thing about these parties, everyone always focuses on the wings, the dips, and all of the other salty delicious treats. But you also need a dessert. After all that salt, you’re going to want something sweet. And I’d like to say, I was the only person to bring a dessert this year and last year (and my cookies were gone REAL fast!).

The original recipe used buttercream, but I actually detest buttercream. It seems like a cheap substitute for the more flavorful cream cheese frosting. And since I happened to have some cream cheese and lemon leftover from a previous baking adventure, I made a change. I also added a couple of decorative additions, which made these cookies seem much more festive. They’d be great for a birthday party or Valentines Day! If you’re the type who doesn’t like frosting (although I have to say, I don’t understand you people), the cookies were delicious by themselves. They’re soft and chewy with a ton of flavor.

Recipe adapted from here.

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger

1 8oz package of cream cheese (I used low-fat)
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Note: you could do this without the lemon juice and zest and do just plain cream cheese frosting, you could also add a tablespoon of vanilla

Optional: sprinkles for decorating

1. To get started, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get two cookie sheets out. You can line the sheets with silicone sheets, parchment paper, or just spray them.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream your butter. Then add the sugar and egg and beat again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and then add the molasses and mix well.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Now mix your flour, baking soda and spices in a glass measuring cup. Then place a sifter over the bowl of your stand mixer, and sift these ingredients in. If you don’t have a sifter, or are just impatient, you could get away with skipping this step (truth be told, I skip sifting 80% of the time, not sure what prompted me to do it this time).
Once you have sifted all of these into the bowl, mix well again. Now scrape down the sides of the bowl, and place the dough in a container that can be chilled. You’ll want to chill the dough in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the dough has chilled, use a tablespoon to measure balls of the dough onto the cookie sheets. You’ll want to use your fingers to shape them into circles and flatten them slightly. I of course forgot to photograph this step, but basically just lightly press the dough down with your thumb, and then try to smooth the edges. And make sure to leave room on the cookie sheet for these cookies to spread.

5. Now bake for 10-12 minutes. You’ll want them to still be slightly soft when they come out. After five minutes, use a spatula to take them off the sheet to cool on a rack.  The cookies were still pretty soft when I took them off the cookie sheet, so a metal spatula will be easier if you have one. If you don’t have one, I’d let them cool longer on the cookie sheet.
6. While they cool, you can prepare the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter at a high speed in the mixer until it is smooth. Then scrape down the sides and add the sugar. Once the sugar is fully mixed in, add the lemon juice and zest.

7. Now begins the fun part, put the sandwiches together. I did a heaping spoons worth of frosting for each sandwich. If you want to add the sprinkles like I did, I just sprinkled them over the side while slowly turning the cookie in one hand.

Now go show off and bring these to a party, your family’s next dinner, or your office on Valentines Day!

The picture below also shows the seven layer dip and mini mac and cheese bites that we brought to the party.

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