Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ginger Lemon Cremes

This is one of my favorite cookies.  They are the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and tart.  They can be made without the ammonium bicarbonate, which can be bought from specialty cooking stores, or the internet, but they will not be as snappy and you need to roll them quite thin.  You can also substitute baking powder if you handle it well.

A note about ammonium bicarbonate:  It smells awful… terrible! Like ammonia, because it is… but it dissipates once it is baked and makes a wonderful crispy cookie.  This means you should not taste your dough before it is cooked, even though it is totally food safe, it just doesn’t taste very good.  Also, you have to make sure it is tightly covered when stored or it will literally just evaporate into the air.

Ginger Cookie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ammonium bicarbonate
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Cream butter and sugars together. 
Add molasses and corn syrup and continue to beat.
Add ginger and pie spice, mix.
Measure flour, ammonium bicarbonate, and salt and carefully stir into butter and sugar mixture.
Chill for about 4 hours to allow flavor to blend.
Preheat oven to 350 F. 
Roll cookie dough into one inch balls and flatten thin or roll out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut shape of choice. They shouldn't spread much.
Place one inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges begin to brown. Cool completely.

Lemon Creme
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups safe powdered sugar
1-1/2 T lemon powder (or juice)
2 teaspoons cream or milk, to thin (do not use if using lemon juice)

With an electric mixer, combine butter and powdered sugar.
Add lemon powder and beat.
Add milk or cream 1 teaspoon at a time to thin to a spreadable consistency.  It should be thick enough to hold its shape between the cookies.

Once cookies have cooled, spread a layer of lemon filling on one cookie and top with another to make a sandwiched cookie.
Store in an airtight container.

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