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Monday, December 9, 2013

Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Dark Chocolate Filling

gingerbread chocolate cookies
Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Dark Chocolate Filling
Although we have our favorite Christmas cookies that I make again and again every year (Chocolate Mint PuddlesCandy Cane Sugar Cookies, and Mint Oreo Truffles, for starters), I always enjoy trying a few new cookies when December rolls around. There's nothing better than getting out my baking sheets, turning the oven on, and spending several hours spilling flour, dirtying dishes, and filling my countertops with freshly baked cookies that get packaged away in tins for the various Christmas parties we'll be attending! This year, when Pampered Chef offered to send me a box full of some of their baking products just in time for the holidays, I jumped at the chance to use some new tools in the kitchen. 
Pin ItGingerbread Dark Chocolate Cookies
Given my success with gobs (aka whoopie pies or cookie sandwiches) in the past and the fact that these cookies store and freeze well (great for make ahead baking!), my inspiration started there. Sticking with flavors of the season, I opted for puffy gingerbread cookies to sandwich around a dark chocolate cream cheese filling. Heaven? I think so! Little did I know the recipe I'd brainstormed in my head would be a cinch with some of the stuff Pampered Chef sent on over. I've always used parchment paper instead of bothering to buy a silicone baking mat, but the Pampered Chef one is special in that it comes with circle markers on both sides of the mat (in 1, 2, and 3 tbsp sizes), helping you properly portion and space your cookies (I used the cookie scoop they sent to transfer dough to the mat). When you're making cookies that need to be matched according to size, this is extremely helpful! As you can probably tell from the pictures, the mat worked!...The cookies didn't stick and came out in perfect circles! 
dark chocolate gingerbread cookies
The heavily spiced cookies are toned by the dark chocolate frosting, resulting in a cookie that satisfies the gingerbread and chocolate lovers alike! These cookies keep best when wrapped individually in plastic wrap and then stored, which makes them a fun treat to include on a cookie tray or in bags. I allowed myself one cookie and wrapped up the rest to be shared with friends...you'll likely have as hard of a time doing so as I did! 
gingerbread whoopie pies
Want to win your own bundle of Pampered Chef baking goods, including the mat, a cookie scoop, some holiday spatulas, the easy accent decorator (I LOVE using this!), the decorator bottle set, and a few other fun treats to get your Holiday baking off to a great start? I have one extra set to give away to one of YOU. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment naming one thing on your to-bake list this December. I'll accept comments until Wednesday at 8 pm Central, then I'll pick and contact a winner at random (make sure you leave your email address!). Comment #21 (Sarah) was picked via Random Number Generator and has been contacted!

Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Dark Chocolate Filling
recipes adapted from a combination of recipes in the Gobba Gobba Hey cookbook

for the cookies-
-2 cups plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
-1 tbsp ground ginger
-1/2 tbsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground allspice
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-3/4 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup sugar
-4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 egg, separated, at room temperature
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
-1 tbsp sour cream

for the filling-
-4 tbsp butter, at room temperature
-4 tbsp cream cheese (1/3 less fat is fine), softened
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-2 tbsp cocoa powder
-1 cup confectioners' sugar
-1 tbsp sour cream

1. To make the gingerbread cookies, preheat two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Pampered chef silicone baking mat. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk, beating on medium until combined. Beat in the egg white and vanilla extract, beating to combine.
3. Alternate adding the buttermilk and dry ingredients, mixing after each addition. Stir in the sour cream. Drop tablespoons of dough (about 1.5 inches in diameter) on the prepared baking sheets, with one inch between each round. Bake for 8 minutes, until cookies have risen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before removing from baking pan and cooking completely.
4. To make the filling, beat butter and cream cheese on medium until combined. Beat in the vanilla, cocoa powder, and confectioners' sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in sour cream.
5. To assemble cookies, spread filling on the flat side of one cookie so that cookie is completely covered. Top with a similar-sized cookie (flat side down) to create a cookie sandwich. Refrigerate until serving. (Note-if planning to serve more than one day after assembling, wrap cookies individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. Cookies also freeze well individually wrapped.)

Note: I was compensated by Pampered Chef for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.