Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Marriage of Spicy and Tart: Chewy Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream-Cheese Filling (Plus a Giveaway: Shabby Apple $50 Gift Certicate!)

I think it's appropriate that these cookies are an enticing blend of tart and spice. Why? Because they seem to fit so well with this giveaway. I'm going to tell you all about the Shabby Apple giveaway first, and after that we'll get into the details of this delectable cookie recipe.

So, are you familiar at all with Shabby Apple? It's a retail clothing company, owned and operated by women, that produces clothing--primarily dresses--for women and girls (even extremely little girls). And the clothes are not just pretty, they're also unique. In fact, spicy and tart are perfect words to describe them. Everything from adorable dresses that are reminiscent of the 1940s, to retro swimwear, to really cute aprons (the apron line is aptly called Boysenberry Pie). Their stuff is blatantly feminine without going overboard. And, speaking of the "F" word, here's an excerpt from the "About us" section of their site:

"At Shabby Apple, we believe in both femininity and feminism. As feminine women, we create clothing that is artful in design and crafted with a vintage-style flare. Each piece is carefully constructed to both flatter a woman's figure and maintain her mystery. As feminists, we created a company that is women-owned and operated and that donates to help other women start their own businesses. With our old-fashioned style and modern ideals, we believe the best is yet to come!"

I find that business philosophy extremely appealing. You too?

How to enter this giveaway? Here's what you need to do:

1) Leave a non-anonymous comment on this post telling me which Shabby Apple item you like best (this will first necessitate a quick visit to their site, which I promise you will enjoy), and  . . .

2) Entrants also are asked to "like" the Shabby Apple site on Facebook via this link.

Yes, I know, a couple of hoops to jump through, but so worth it for the lucky winner. Check back on the morning of Friday, October 26th. That's when I will announce the winner. (Please note that the winner has to have a delivery address in the U.S.A., per Shabby Apple.) 

*Oh, and in the interest of complete disclosure, the answer is no, I'm not getting anything from this giveaway other than the pleasure of doing it. And, believe me, I don't agree to do giveaways unless I think the company's products offer quality and value, and that they're somehow germane to my blog's readership. We home-bakers all need a new dress or a new apron now and then, don't we? Rhetorical question! 

About this recipe . . .

Adapted from At Home With the Culinary Institute of America: Cookies by Todd Knaster, these cookies are called gingersnaps in the book, but they're soft and chewy--not typical gingersnap traits--because they include more molasses than one would expect. I altered the formula a bit by substituting whole wheat flour for 25 percent of the white flour, and by adding in some chopped crystallized ginger along with the ground ginger. Also, and most importantly, I decided to sandwich them with an ethereal mixture comprised of cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Oh, man.

Who would ever have thought that ginger and lemon could be so happy together? It's a cookie marriage made in heaven.

Chewy Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream-Cheese Filling

(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)

1 cup (2 sticks or 1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt (I used fine sea salt)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon crystallized (aka candied) ginger, very well chopped
1 cup molasses (not "robust" molasses)
1/4 cup water

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In the large bowl of your mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until it's fluffy and light in color (about 4 minutes).

In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and crystallized ginger.

In a small saucepan on very low heat and stirring periodically, warm the molasses and water just until the mixture thins out a bit (only up to about 75 degrees; this is just slightly warm).

On your mixer's lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and the molasses into the creamed mixture, alternating between the two (dry/wet/dry/wet/dry). Stop and scrape every now and then.

Portion the dough onto your prepared baking sheets (I used a scoop that holds about a tablespoon of dough), spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Wet the palm of your hand with cold water and flatten each cookie slightly. Sprinkle the tops with a pinch of white sanding sugar or coarse turbinado sugar (I tried both; the white sugar shows up more after the cookies are baked, but they taste good with either sugar).

Bake them for about 12 minutes. Let them cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheets before moving them to a cooling rack.  (If you'd like your cookies to be more crisp around the edges, do the following: Preheat your oven to 350; when you put the cookies in the oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 325. Turn off the oven after 12 minutes, but leave the cookies in the oven for 5 more minutes. Then let them cool as usual.)

Ingredients for the filling:

One 8 ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, softened (1/4 cup or 4 ounces)
1 and 1/4 cups up to 2 cups of confectioners' sugar (whisked or sifted after measuring to break up lumps)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Beat all ingredients, starting with the smaller portion of confectioners' sugar, in a medium size bowl until soft and fluffy. If you'd like your filling thicker and sweeter, add in more sugar. Sandwich about 2 teaspoons of filling between the bottoms of two cooled cookies. Store the cookies covered. Refrigerate any remaining filling.

(If you'd like to comment on this post, or to read any existing comments, please click on the purple COMMENTS just below.)


Dalaney & Hannah said...

I like them on fb! (Hannah Shirley )

Dalaney & Hannah said...

Also , I would buy the academia dress!!

PancakeNinja said...

I really like Warrior II Pant (Virabhadrasana II),
Hero (Virasana)in pink,
Firefly Pose Skirt (Tittibhasana) in gray,
and the Aloha dress,
and wait one more Bon Voyage in navy is so nice too.

PancakeNinja said...

just liked on FB

Suzanne D said...

I love the Champs Elysees dress! Such a classic. my e-mail is

Suzanne D. said...

*Liked on facebook.

denise kunkle said...

'Alice' dress is my favorite. So many cute ones though. Thank you for hosting the giveaway!

denise kunkle said...

I also liked on FB.


denise kunkle said...

I also liked on FB.


faithy said...

Looks so delicious!

Caran said...

Torn between the Lost in Wonderland locket, Peter Pan gold collar neclace, and the Spring Bloom necklace; each has its own special charm!

I guess if I have to pick one, the Spring Bloom necklace wins out.

Caran said...

Torn between the Lost in Wonderland locket, Peter Pan gold collar neclace, and the Spring Bloom necklace; each has its own special charm!

I guess if I have to pick one, the Spring Bloom necklace wins out.

Lucy said...

I'm late I'm late would be the perfect dress for my neice's wedding!

Lucy said...

Whoops! I mean niece'!

Jennie35 said...

I like the Adelaide skirt!!

Jennie35 said...

I like the Adelaide skirt!

Kelly Randolph said...

The Ms. Porter dress!

Julie said...

like the francine skirt

Julie said...

like sa fb Julie A Scott Laws

Eden of Woolflower Boutique said...

What a fun shop! Thanks for the link and the giveaway chance. Hard to choose, but I think my favorite might be Panthera:

And I've liked them on FB. Are you on FB w/ your baking fun?

Domestic Diva said...

I like the aphrodite dress, and I'm drooling over your cookies.

Contest Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Contest Kim said...

Love the Mulholland Dress!

Contest Kim said...

Like Shabby Apple on Facebook, Kay Cee

June said...

Wow - Shabby Apple has some absolutely wonderful stuff on offer. Even though I can't enter the giveaway as I don't live in the US any longer, I'm sure they'd ship internationally. So many lovely things to choose from - and yes! - I love the Boysenberry Pie apron range. I'm so glad - thrilled, even - that there actually are clothes designers who put deliberate emphasis on femininity as well as comfortability. Too many of us these days just reach for the tee-shirt, the hoodie and the jeans - all very comfortable, and probably nice enough, feminine colours...but there's something about wearing a dress or something eequally 'girlie' and feminine that makes a woman (young or not-so-young) feel wonderful inside. More of that, please!

As for these cookies, I love, love, love ginger-flavoured anything - especially cookies. Your adapted recipe sounds super-deelish, Jane, and, seeing as it's getting a bit chilly outside and I need a little spice to warm things up, I'd say these would do very nicely, indeed. And ohhhhhh....the genius idea of sandwiching them together using cream cheese, butter, sugar and lemon....I'm off to the kitchen to bake us up a batch.

Thanks for the recipe, and for the info about Shabby Apple. Enjoy the rest of this lovely autumnal weekend.

The Wanderer said...

I've enjoyed your blog for the past couple months - great recipes and great photos! Also, cool idea with the Shabby Apple giveaway. :)

carl david said...

These sound delicious and using ginger and lemon cream cheese is a nice change from the more usual vanilla and chocolate - although I like that flavor combination too!
What a cookie recipe. I've been forcing myself to practice making it more often (being as they are my nemesis) so these are going to be added to the baking list.
Denmark WA Accommodation

Shelley Gajus said...

My favorite Shabby Apple item is the Bampton Dress, in all colors!

notsosimpleshelley (at) gmail (dot) com

Shelley Gajus said...

I like Shabby Apple on Facebook.(Shelley Gajus)

notsosimpleshelley (at) gmail (dot) com

wefamlee said...

I like the whole yosemite line on Shabby Apple :)

Tj and Amy said...

sounds so good. Facebook fan of shabby apple .amy bolda pugmire.

Tj and Amy said...

I love the orient express dress.

Melissa Palmer said...

My favorite is the Puca Pucara dress!
Thanks for the chance!
mjp_0419 at yahoo dot com

Melissa Palmer said...

I like Shabby Apple on FB :)
mjp_0419 at yahoo dot com