Tag Archives: molasses

Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream Filling

Dear Nick Malgieri,

I saw your Ginger Sandwich Cookies filled with lemon cream in a recent issue of Food & Wine magazine and decided I’d give them a try.  Although gingersnaps have never been and will never be a cookie I find myself craving, the lemon filling did catch my attention and I thought that with the ginger, the flavor could be exceptional.

Although that did not disappoint, the molasses, on the other hand, gave me pause because the last time I made cookies that had molasses in them, the results were less than appealing until I bent them into submission after much trial and error.

Now I know I’m far from perfect on most days, but I have had a modest amount of experience cooking and baking with great success — thankfully more times than not.  I also use excellent equipment and so cannot blame poor result on either of those factors.

What I’m left with is a question, and I’m asking it of you since this is your recipe and the photograph chosen to illustrate the intended results looks far different than mine — especially my first batch.Ginglemoncook

  • When baking cookies with molasses, is there something I just don’t understand?  What causes them to spread so?  I know sugar in general causes that, and when using molasses, a smaller quantity is needed, as in this recipe which calls for only 1/4 cup.  Could it be the brand of molasses?  I use Grandma’s which is just about the only kind I’ve ever used, and the jar I used for this batch was opened recently.
  • Although keeping a very close eye on the Ginger Sandwich cookies during the required bake time, I realized I needed to remove them from the oven only half way through the expected 20-minute baking time, and even then, the cookies were far too done.  Actually, burnt.
  • I prefer to use convection settings for everything except for recipes with a high quantity of egg, so am used to reducing the heat and cooking time to compensate for that choice. However, because of the previous results, I chose not to use convection heat for this recipe.  On the second batch, again, with only 7 minutes of the baking time elapsed, I had to remove the cookies.

Mr. Malgieri, I know that often, baking is an adventure, and I accept that most of the time.  Because I’m used to reading recipes, I can usually spot one that I think could be problematic, and with this recipe, the cooking time did get my attention.  Cookies rarely bake that long.  Nevertheless, I proceeded like the trusting home cook I am.

I will say your ginger cookies are lovely tasting with a nice bite — chewy, with a pleasant tartness from the lemon cream which blends well with the overall sweetness.  Very, very nice.  I just wish I’d done them justice.  So I’m curious and would enjoy trying these again, but detest wasting food so need some direction.

Did Food & Wine misprint the recipe?  Or am I just someone who should step away from the molasses?

With the utmost respect,

p.s.  They stack very well, though!

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Brandy Snaps with Mascarpone Creme

Day 4 of The 12 Days of Cookies is starting a bit better than yesterday ended with the last cookie attempted.  Being the planner I am when confronted with a lot of work, I not only chose all 12 cookies I’d make, I organized them into pairs by production so that I could get two done a day.  They’d either have very similar elements (okay, so I’m not talking about butter, sugar and flour…), or one would need refrigeration and I could continue on with the second while…you get it, right?) I printed out the recipes, and sorted through them making sure I wouldn’t have any hang-ups, like realizing I didn’t have oatmeal after coming home from the store.

I know you hate that as much as I do when it happens, right?

So did I hop back in the car to get oatmeal?  No.  I went back through the cookies featured in Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies:  1941 – 2008 to choose another — one that wasn’t very complicated and for which I had all ingredients.

Brandy Snaps, Gourmet’s choice for 1949, looked to be the best for my particular dilemma.  Although I’m not usually thrilled with the prospect of booze in my baked goods, I am able to deal with a little, and the cookies reminded me of Florentines:  crisp, crunchy, and caramelley.  Plus  I happened to have three bottles of molasses in my pantry — light, dark, and Barbados “unsulfured.”

I was set.  Or so I thought.  Innocent looking little things, aren’t they?IMG_7556

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