If I had to choose my favorite cookie ever, that would be a very very tough decision. I take my chocolate chip cookies incredibly seriously, but monster cookies come in an extremely close second. But when I think about a cookie that truly “sparks joy” it would be a chewy Ginger Molasses Cookie.
My Grandma Jean made the world’s best. No joke. They were spicy, chewy, sugary, and absolutely beautiful. Full of the gorgeous crackly tops that IG currently goes crazy for. I’ve tried time and time again to improve them, but the truth is they were already perfect.
You know how they say if you can’t beat them join them? Well, this cookie is a little like that. You certainly can’t beat a classic Ginger Molasses Cookie, but what if you filled two with cream cheese, fresh ginger, and orange frosting? It may never beat Grandma’s due to nostalgia's sake, but these can certainly compete!
The key to these cookie sandwiches is to slightly underbake the cookies; you want the centers to be soft so they match the creaminess of the filling. Think of the oatmeal cookies pies of your childhood but upgraded with the flavors of ginger, orange, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom!
Recipe and Headnote Molly Adams
For the Cookies
- 2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/ 2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/ 2 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/ 4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/ 2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/ 8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/ 8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Orange Ginger Cream
- 1/ 2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
To make the cookies, in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Once the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy, add egg, molasses, and vanilla and mix until combined, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg in a large bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and process just until combined, about 15 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold any remaining streaks of flour together by hand. Chill for 30 minutes.
Scoop the dough into 1 tablespoon sized portions and roll into evenly shaped ball with your hands. Roll the dough balls in granulated sugar to coat and divide among the prepared baking trays, leaving about two inches between each dough ball to allow for spreading.
Cook for about 12 minutes; rotating, tapping and switching the trays halfway through. Cookies should be firm on the outside but still quite soft in the middle. Let cool on the baking trays for 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Do not over bake, you want to center of the cookies to be soft.
While the cookies cool, make the Orange Ginger Cream. Add butter and cream cheese to a clean stand mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger, orange zest, vanilla and salt and mix until light and fluffy, about two more minutes. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
When cookies are cool, pipe or spread the prepared Orange Ginger Cream on one cookie, then sandwich it with another cookie and serve.