Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lemony Gingerness

I haven't sent any baked goods to work with Steve recently, so hopefully they will enjoy seeing some cookies in the office tomorrow morning.

I've worked out of Elinor Klivans' Big Fat Cookies before with mixed results. Her Butterscotch Marble Blondies I blogged earlier this winter were tasty and easy to replicate. But I had some messy results with her Chocolate-Chip Stuffed cookies, where a mound of chocolate chips were sandwiched between chocolate chip cookie dough, to bake up with gooey chocolate in the center. Against my better judgement I followed her recipe exactly and did not refrigerate the dough, so it was way too sticky to work with and the cookies were flat, sad  pancakes (on the upside, the dough was phenomenal). 

So, with a little bit of hesitation I pulled out Big Fat Cookies again today to make Lemon-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches. The dough was incredibly easy to work with and everything was perfect from start to finish. I was able to find every single ingredient in my pantry, but was still able to make a fabulous cookie with unique flavors. 

Lemon-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches
from Elinor Klivans' Big Fat Cookies
2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C powdered sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C (4 oz) whole blanched almonds, toasted and finely ground
1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 T fresh lemon juice
Sift the flower, salt, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl. In a large bowl, beat the butter and powdered sugar in a mixer until smooth. On low speed, mix in lemon zest, vanilla, almonds. Mix in the flour mixture until the flour is incorporated and the dough holds together and away from the side of the bowl.
Divide the dough in half and form two 6-inch disks. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough until it is cold and firm enough to roll, about 40 minutes.
Preheat the over to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap one piece of dough. Flour the rolling surface and roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter with scalloped edges, 3 1/4 to 3 1/2-inch circles or smaller, depending on how many cookies you want. Unwrap the other piece of dough and cut out remaining cookies, to have an even number. Cut a circle or other shape from the center of half of the cookies.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are light brown and tops firm, about 20 minutes. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to cooling racks.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth. Spread the frosting onto those that do not have the holes in the center and make sandwiches with those that do have holes.
Store  in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
*Makes 9 cookie sandwiches with 3 1/2-inch circle cookies, makes 15 cookie sandwiches with 2 1/2-inch circle cookies.


Patricia Scarpin said...

I have that book and all the recipes sound wonderful!
I have been thinking of these lately. Yours look perfect.

Kelly said...

I have this book too and have had difficulties with her chocolate chip cookie recipes. The only successful one (chocolate chip cookies) I've made was the Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies that I made this weekend. I tried the Chocolate Chip Stuffed and had the same problems, and the Fudge Filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches turned out so bad I didn't even finish baking up the dough.

But, those two aside, the book is excellent and her non-chocolate-chip cookie recipes are great. I've made about half a dozen now and they're all excellent, and my co-workers rave about them every time I bring some in.

Would refrigerating the dough really have solved the spreading-out problem with the chip-stuffed cookies? They seemed like such a good idea and I was so disappointed in the result, and would like to give it another try if I knew what went wrong. My mother suggested replacing some of the butter with shortening to stop them from spreading out so much.

LisaRene said...

These look amazing, exactly my type of cookie! Very professional job :)

Sharon said...

these look beautiful! i love the pictures too!

Emiline said...

THOSE are gorgeous cookies. I can't believe how perfect they look. You just make me sick. ;)

Laura said...

Thanks all! These cookies were really fun to do...Steve said they disappeared quickly at work!

Kelly - I'm glad you've had similar experiences as me with the chocolate chip recipes. Something must be off with her calculations. I would definitely try the idea of the chocolate filled chocolate chip cookies again, but with a different recipe and would refrigerate the dough - that will make it easier to work with and give it more stamina when you bake it.