Bake Club+ : Brown Butter Ginger Molasses Sandwiches
Day 5 of COOKIE WEEK is a sandwich version of a family favorite and is FREE for everyone!
This is the conclusion of our first annual COOKIE WEEK! Thank you so much for following along, and if you are not yet subscribed to Bake Club+ click the link below:
Cookie Tip #5: Top 3 Cookie Tools
Homemade cookies should be quick, relatively easy, and accessible to all. You don’t need much to whip up a batch of cookies, but here are some of my favorite tools for getting the job done:
Cookie Scoop: Gone are the days of using actual tea and tablespoons of scooping dough. Instead, use a mechanical cookie scoop (like an ice cream scoop) to portion out uniform balls of dough in a flash.
Baking Sheet: An aluminum baking sheet is your best friend. Skip the non-stick and darker pans as they tend to bake and brown cookies faster. A sturdy pan won’t easily warp and keeps cookies baking evenly. Note that a baking sheet is usually rimmed on all four sides - great for all-purpose use and keeping spills and crumbs contained. A cookie sheet might only have one or two edges with handles, keeping the free sides open for sliding batches of cookies on and off.
Parchment Paper: I’ve collected a ton of silicone baking mats over the years, but I most often reach for plain parchment paper. It is cheap and can be reused (most of the time). When in doubt go for parchment, especially with your typical drop-style cookie. I find that those types of cookies baked on silicone mats remain greasy on the bottom, but always consult your recipe first.
Brown Butter Ginger Molasses Sandwiches
Adapted from my grandmother’s recipe, these sandwiches start with the ginger crinkles of my childhood. Full of molasses and warm spices, the cookies are perfect for filling because they are incredibly chewy in the center with a slightly crispy edge (meaning the buttercream won’t squish out everywhere when you bite into them). Browning the butter gives the filling a nutty, butterscotch-like flavor that you’ll want to eat straight from the bowl.
Makes about 1 dozen sandwiches.
2 cups (250 g) + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup (175 ml) canola oil
1 cup (220 g) brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup (60 ml) molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
Sugar for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the oil and brown sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes. It is okay if it looks a little separated and the sugar is undissolved. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add the molasses and keep mixing. The dough might look curdled, but keep mixing until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the grated ginger and flour mixture all at once. Turn the mixer on its lowest speed and mix until just combined.
Place sugar in a small bowl. Scoop out 3 tablespoon portions of dough and roll into balls. Toss the dough balls in the sugar to coat. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the pans halfway, or until puffed in the center and just set around the edges. The cookies will deflate and crinkle as they cool.
Cool the cookies on their baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Continue with the remaining dough.
Once cooled, pair up the cookies by size. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with Brown Butter Buttercream (recipe to follow). Pipe a thin layer of buttercream on the bottom halves of each cookie pair. Top the filling with the second cookie and gently press together to seal.
These cookie sandwiches are not dainty. They only need a small amount of filling or else they become too sweet.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for about a week. You may also freeze them for up to 2 months.
Brown Butter Buttercream
1 cup (227 g) + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 to 3 cups (260 to 390 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place ¾ cup (170 g) butter in a light-colored saucepan and melt over high heat. Once the butter begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low.
Stirring every so often to keep the milk solids from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan, continue to cook the butter until it turns an amber-colored brown and the milk solids have darkened. This will take 5 to 8 minutes. It is done when the brown butter smells nutty and toasty. Pour the brown butter into a heat-safe container.
Chill the brown butter until it solidifies but remains soft, about 1 hour. It should be the consistency of softened butter when ready to turn into frosting. Meanwhile, remove the remaining butter from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
When ready, add the brown butter and remaining butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer). Mix on low speed until the butter is creamy. Stop the mixer and add in the confectioners' sugar. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
Add a tablespoon of milk and mix to combine. Bump up the mixer speed to medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and more milk, a tablespoon at a time, and mix until smooth. When done, it should be a smooth, pipeable consistency.
Do not scrape any of the milk solids that may have stuck to the bottom. Some of the loose dark brown bits should make it into the bowl - these toasty bits have tons of flavor! If you suspect the milk solids burned while cooking, then use a fine-mesh sieve to strain out the brown butter.
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One of these delicious sandwich cookies is a full dessert!