I am not a huge ginger person, but I LOVE these pumpkin ginger sandwich cookies!
They’re the epitome of fall. Chewy ginger, earthy clove and warming cinnamon spiced cookies combine with a luscious pumpkin cream cheese filling to yield the ultimate cozy fall treat. There’s even a little white chocolate drizzle to top them all off. This definitely helps with the fancy factor if you were planning on serving them for Thanksgiving!
These cookies are the perfect blend of comfort and nostalgia all in one bite. Even the smell these cookies make while baking is mouth-watering.
I know I say that these cookies are perfect for fall – which they are – but they would be great for Christmas too! The warming spices and flavours transition beautifully into the holiday season. They’d make a great addition to your holiday dessert spread or a cookie swap at the office. You could even include them alongside these sea salt & brown butter cookies in a cookie gift box.
How These Cookies were Created
To be completely honest, these pumpkin ginger sandwich cookies came about by accident.
I found myself with some leftover pumpkin icing after making cupcakes for a friend. Instead of eating it straight from the piping bag (like I would normally do) I decided that it would be the perfect filling for a sandwich cookie.
Originally, I thought that I would use an oatmeal cookie (which would probably be delicious as well). BUT, when I opened my Bobbette and Belle cookbook and flipped to the ginger cookie recipe, I decided to go down a different path. Usually when I think of ginger cookies, I think of bland, hard gingerbread people. I had a feeling that this recipe could change my mind and wow did it deliver.
These cookies have molasses in them which automatically conjures images of warm holiday baking for me – so make sure not to skip this crucial ingredient! Also make sure that you’re using the fancy grade of molasses and not black strap molasses. I’m not entirely sure what black strap molasses is, but it does not sound good to me.
There’s a little bit of wiggle room for the spices if you don’t have the exact amount of one of the spices listed, but I’d try to stick as close to my amounts as possible. I’ve found that this yields a cookie that has a good balance of all the spices without one overpowering any others.
These cookies are coated in a layer of granulated sugar which isn’t completely necessary, but I do like how it gives them a little bit of sparkle. It’s perfect for a more festive feel on your Thanksgiving or Christmas tables!
For the pumpkin puree you’re going to want to make sure that you use pure pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. If all you have is pumpkin pie filling I would cut down on the sugar and spices since it already comes with those ingredients. It’s possible you’ll want to add a little additional spice so always make sure you’re tasting along the way!
It’s also very important to make sure that you squeeze the excess water out of your pumpkin puree! You want to really concentrate the pumpkin flavour and it has a TON of water in it. What you’ll want to do is place the pumpkin in cheesecloth and wring the cheesecloth out until your pumpkin looks almost dry. If you don’t have cheesecloth you can use a fine mesh strainer and a spatula. Squeeze the pumpkin for longer than you think you need to as we want as little water as possible. If you don’t squeeze out enough of the water, your icing will come out looking grainy and separated.
For the white chocolate drizzle, I’d highly recommend finding the best white chocolate that you can. It just tastes so much better! Plus, you won’t be using a lot of it so it shouldn’t be too expensive. White chocolate molding wafers are an option though if that’s what you have on hand.
Tips on Making the Cookies
To make these cookies, try to ensure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature so that they combine properly. I’m notorious for forgetting to take my eggs out of the fridge, so if you’re in the same boat I’ve got a hot tip for you. Place your eggs in warm water for a few minutes to bring them to room temperature before adding! It’s super easy and quick.
You’re going to make these cookies similarly to how you’d make a basic chocolate chip cookie. The main difference is the addition of the molasses which makes the dough slightly stickier.
Also make sure you plan for the time that the dough needs to chill. This is crucial because if you don’t chill the dough your cookies will end up in large flat puddles on your baking sheet which we definitely don’t want!
My cookies came out slightly domed on the top. Since I was turning them into sandwich cookies I wanted to make sure they were flat. To do this, just take the bottom of a metal measuring cup and gently flatten them out as soon as they come out of the oven.
Tips on Making the Icing
This icing is also similar to a standard buttercream icing, aside from the cream cheese and pumpkin. The cream cheese you can just throw in with the butter and whip it up no problem.
I make my icing by whipping the cream cheese and butter till light and fluffy. Then, making sure that the mixer is on low speed I add the icing sugar in 3 increments. Once that’s all added it’s time for another 3-5 minute whip on high speed.
At this point, you’ll want to add your pumpkin puree. The pumpkin is a slightly volatile ingredient so you want to make sure that you don’t over mix the pumpkin. If you’re more comfortable adding the pumpkin by hand then by all means, do that!
Piping the Icing & White Chocolate
As a trained pastry chef, I find it easiest to use a piping bag to pipe the icing into these cookies. I used a star tip because I like the texture that it gives when viewing the cookies from the side. If you don’t have a piping bag you can always use a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off.
I’d recommend piping the icing in a spiral instead of just adding a large dollop of icing to the cookie. This ensures that the icing is more evenly distributed. It also ensures that your top cookie will lay flat and won’t look crooked.
For the white chocolate drizzle you can use the same Ziploc method as the icing. If you have a piping bag with a #1 or #2 round tip that’s an option as well.
However, I find a piping bag a bit cumbersome for piping the white chocolate as it’s such a small amount. I made a paper cone out of parchment paper and cut a small bit off the tip to drizzle the white chocolate on. This is a pastry school trick and is great for applications like this where you only have a small amount of chocolate or icing to drizzle. If that’s confusing to you at all, you can find out how to make one here.
After tasting these cookies, I knew I’d be adding them to my regular rotation of fall treats. The spices in this cookie strike the perfect balance and keep the cookie from being too sweet. I think the cream cheese and sweetness from the pumpkin icing add a little bit of decadence making them perfect for holiday entertaining!
Perfect for Fall Chewy Pumpkin Ginger Sandwich Cookies
- Chewy Ginger Cookies*
- 290 grams all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 170 grams room temperature butter
- 200 grams brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 85 grams fancy molasses
- 70 grams granulated sugar
- Spiced Pumpkin Buttercream
- 70 grams room temperature cream cheese
- 140 grams room temperature butter
- 45 grams pumpkin puree with water squeezed out
- 275 grams icing sugar
- 5 grams pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- White Chocolate Drizzle
- 30 grams pure white chocolate
- Cookie Dough
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes) scraping the bowl at the halfway point.
- Add the egg and beat to combine. Scrape the bowl to make sure all the sugar is combined.
- Add molasses and mix to combine. Scrape bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until it is just combined. I found that there was some flour at the bottom, so I scraped the bowl one last time to make sure everything was uniform.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Cookie Baking
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from the fridge and begin to roll into 1 inch balls.
- Place the granulated sugar in a bowl and roll each ball of dough in the sugar to coat.
- Place each ball of dough on the baking sheets leaving about 2 inches in between each ball of dough.
- Bake the cookies 1 tray at a time for 12-15 minutes. I only baked mine for 12 as my oven runs fairly hot and I like a chewier cookie.
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, flatten the tops with a metal measuring cup. This is optional but makes for a nicer presentation. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to fully cool while we make the icing.
- Spiced Pumpkin Icing
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes) scraping the bowl at the halfway point.
- While the cream cheese and butter are whipping, combine the icing sugar with the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
- With the mixer on low speed add the icing sugar in 3 increments making sure it's fully incorporated before adding the next third.
- Add vanilla and scrape bowl.
- Turn the mixer up to high speed and allow the icing to whip for another 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix on medium speed until just combined. Do not overmix. If the icing feels loose allow it to set for about 15-20 minutes in the fridge stirring often.
- Transfer icing to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #32 tip (optional) to prepare for filling your cookies.
- Finishing the Cookies
- Flip half the cookies upside down so that the underside is facing up. Pipe the icing onto this side of the cookie beginning in the middle and working your way around to the edges creating a tight spiral. My icing layer was about the thickness of the piping tip, so try not to be too generous as you want to make sure you have enough icing to do all your cookies.
- Pop the tops back on your cookies.
- Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler and then transfer to a paper cone. Cut a small bit off the tip and drizzle the white chocolate over the tops of the cookies.
- Cookie recipe adapted from Bobbette & Belle Classic Recipes from the Celebrated Pastry Shop
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