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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Molasses Spice Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Oh dear, these are so wonderful! They are delicate but sturdy, spicy, sweet, buttery, lemony, and fabulously soft. And they make your house smell EXACTLY like Christmas. I want to make them over and over; they are perfect for the season!

But, granted, slightly labor intensive. It just takes a long time to roll all those little balls of dough, so if you can pull in an extra pair of hands or two for that step, it will go faster and you will be glad. But just do what you can, and your audience, be they family, neighbors, classmates, etc. will exclaim at their delightful flavor and undeniable melt-in-your-mouthness.

Molasses Spice Lemon Sandwich Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
Table salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 large egg
15 T unsalted butter, divided (12 T melted and cooled for cookies, 3 T softened for frosting)
3 T lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar

1. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, 3/4 tsp salt, and cloves together in medium bowl. In separate bowl, stir 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, molasses, egg and melted butter together until combined. Add dry mixture to butter mixture in three batches, stirring after each addition. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 1 hour.

2. Adjust oven racks to middle-upper and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar in small bowl. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls (this is smaller than you think but just the right size; they spread out a lot while baking.) Roll balls in granulated sugar, then transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing balls 2 inches apart. Bake until tops are just beginning to crack, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating rack position and direction of baking sheets halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Use remaining dough the same way.

4. Whisk remaining 3 T butter, lemon juice, and pinch of salt together in medium bowl. Whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Turn half of cooled cookies over (bottom side up) and spread each with 1 tsp lemon filling. Sandwich with another cookie. Makes 3 to 4 dozen sandwiches

Recipe from Cook's Country, December 2005

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