First impressions can be tough – particularly when things don’t go so well. So what happens if the second impression is not much better, and either is the third? Well, it definitely can be tough to recover. I say this because I am definitely not one that gives people lots of chances. Most of the time you are guilty and then you must prove yourself innocent – I hate being this way, but it is just who I am. I have worked hard over the years to adjust my style at work, but every once in a while I see myself slipping. Years ago though, I was told I have a gift – I can certainly be hard on people, but I do it with a smile on my face. And being in those situations on the other side – isn’t it always better to receive critical feedback when someone is smiling at you on the across the table? It is all in the delivery.
Food is the exact same way. How many times have you eaten something for the first time and hated it? You might decide to give it another chance at some point – but if it doesn’t meet your expectations again – it is just that much harder to have an open mind the next time. I have never been very fond of lemon flavored desserts. My mother makes some amazing lemon squares – but I just can’t get myself to like them, no matter how hard I try. I love lemons in savory dishes – and definitely in cocktails – but sweets just don’t cut the mustard.
The other week my daughters and I spent the afternoon at The Pantry at their Holiday Gift Workshop for Kids. We made three delicious treats and then packaged them all up to give as gifts. I have been there before for this workshop, but this was the first time they offered it for kids – it was awesome. When I saw the recipe for Spiced Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream – I was hardly excited. I knew I would love the cookies, but was not crazy about the lemon cream. My daughters on the other hand couldn’t wait – they both love lemon desserts. As we were finishing up, there were plenty of extras to snack on. These were hands down their favorite treat that we made, and absolutely loved the lemon cream. They convinced me to give it a try – and I am so glad they did – finally a lemon cream that I could have eaten with a spoon. I know it was the cream cheese that won me over. But seriously – put that on top of one of these crunchy cookies, and lemon – you just made it to my good side. Thank goodness for second chances…or should we say, never underestimate the power of the delivery.
- 9 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces butter, melted and warm
- ¼ cup unsulfured molasses
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 large egg
- 4 ounces diced crystallized ginger
- ½ cup turbinado sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest + 2 teaspoons (from about 2 lemons)
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Combine the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Combine the warm butter, molasses, sugars, fresh ginger, and egg in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and crystallized ginger and stir until incorporated. The dough will be soft.
Form the dough into a log shape on a piece of parchment paper. Roll into a 1 ¼ inch diameter log. Sprinkle the outside of the log with the turbinado sugar and place in the freezer to chill completely. Once chilled all the way though (about an hour), slice into 1/4-inch rounds and bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, lemon zest and powdered sugar until well mixed. The frosting should be pretty stiff – add more powdered sugar as necessary.
Pipe filling over the bag side of one cookie, and place another cookie on top.
Makes about one dozen sandwich cookies.
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