I’ve often suggested to my husband Jack that he should be on an episode of the Iron Chef – or any of those television cooking competitions where chefs are assigned an ingredient, then challenged to come up with delicious, original recipes using it.
Today’s recipe – these Ginger Molasses Cookies with Cherry Cream Filling – were inspired by a very large jar of molasses we had in our kitchen cabinet.
Jack’s mother (aka Nanny) had given it to us, just before Christmas. Nanny bought the molasses at the supermarket, then realized when she returned home that she already had a jar in the cabinet. So, the unopened jar of molasses got passed along to us.
Jack’s initial idea was to bake up some ginger molasses sandwich cookies – but he wanted to make something other than a marshmallow filling (which is what most other ginger molasses cookie recipes have).
So after researching fruits that go well with ginger – he landed on cherries. As luck would have it, we had a bag of dried cherries in the cabinet – and Jack set out to work creating a creamy, sweet filling made with mascarpone, butter and confectioner’s sugar.
These Ginger Molasses Cookies with Cherry Cream Filling are sweet and delicious with flavors unlike any other cookies I’ve tasted! I never would have thought to pair ginger, molasses and cherry together – and these Ginger Molasses Cookies with Cherry Cream Filling are winners in my book!
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 8 tablespoons butter, 1 stick, softened
- 2 whole eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, minced fine
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup dry cherries chopped
- ½ cup boiling water
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon crystallized ginger, minced fine
- 2½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line four sheet trays with parchment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add both sugars, shortening and butter and cream on medium for two minutes.
- With mixer running on low, add one egg at a time then increase speed to mix eggs into batter.
- Scrape bowl and add the molasses and the crystallized ginger. Mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda and cinnamon and slowly add to the mixture a little at a time with speed on medium.
- Beat batter just long enough to mix out any lumps.
- Place 12 on each of four pans using a small one ounce scoop 3X4 and bake two pans at a time, rotating racks halfway through. Bake for about 10 minutes total. They will puff up and be darker than the raw batter and will deflate as they cool.
- Let each pan set for five minutes then remove each cookie to a cooling rack with a spatula. Cool completely.
- While cookies are cooling, make filling.
- Place cherries in a small bowl and cover with a half cup of boiling water. Set aside.
- In the stand mixer with paddle attachment, place mascarpone, butter, vanilla and ginger. Mix to combine fully.
- Drain ¼ cup of water and discard. Take the remaining water and cherries and add to mascarpone mixture and beat to combine.
- Slowly add powdered sugar with mixer on low until it is all in and beat to mix. If it is a bit loose, add a little more powdered sugar to thicken.
- Once cookies are cool, lay out 24 top down. Divide the filling between the 24 then top each with another cookie.
- Wrap and refrigerate one hour until the filling is firm. Serve chilled.
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