It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays around here, and I’m loving it!  I am kicking off the holiday cookie season with a bang!  These Gingersnap Mocha Cookies are some of THE BEST cookies I have ever tasted and will now be a yearly addition to my cookie platter.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Last year a few weeks from this time, I was in New York City presenting Matt Lauer with a ginger molasses cookie on The Today Show.  The recipe that I shared on the show is one that has been in my family for four generations and that I will continue to make without fail each Christmas, but it will just have to share the ginger spot in my holiday cookie repertoire with it’s new friend, the Gingersnap Mocha Cookie.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

You know I love a sandwich cookie because everything is better with a frosting or filling and I love that you get to sneak two cookies into one.  Caribou Coffee contacted me about creating a new recipe inspired by their new holiday drink, the Gingersnap Cookie Mocha.  I was thrilled to be included in this challenge and immediately had a vision for these cookies in my mind.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Gingersnap Mocha Cookies stay so soft and chewy for days which is precisely the way I always want my cookies to be.  The combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg make your entire home smell like the holidays instantly and that mocha filling sends these cookies over the edge into pure cookie bliss.  The mocha filling is simply chocolate buttercream with coffee used to thin the buttercream rather than vanilla or cream.  I used a combination of semisweet and milk chocolate because I love the balance of rich and sweet.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The spicy flavor from the ginger together with the chocolate with just a hint of coffee flavor is pure perfection as far as flavor balance.  One person who tried these Gingersnap Mocha Cookies told me that the cookie made him “weak in the knees” because it is so delicious.  I promise once you make your first batch of Gingersnap Mocha Cookies, you’ll be coming back to them year after year and they will be a new holiday favorite of yours too.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 cookie sandwiches

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies: Soft. chewy, perfectly spiced and filled with decadent mocha buttercream, these cookies are sure to be an instant holiday favorite

Ingredients

    For the cookies!
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies into
  • For the filling!
  • 3 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp milk chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp hot brewed coffee (I used Caribou Reindeer Blend)

Instructions

    For the cookies!
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add molasses and mix to combine.
  3. Add hot water and baking soda and mix.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until well blended and no streaks of flour remain.
  5. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and form the dough into a ball at the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Place the granulated sugar into a shallow bowl.
  9. Use a small cookie scoop (or spoon) to scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Roll balls of dough in your hands and drop the balls into the sugar rolling the ball around in the sugar to coat evenly. Place sugared dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets leaving 2 inches in between cookies. The dough is easiest to work with when it is chilled, so if necessary, in between baking the sheets of dough, return the dough to the refrigerator to keep dough chilled.
  10. Bake 10-11 minutes or until tops of the cookies are cracked and edges feel set.
  11. Cool cookies completely.
  12. For the filling!
  13. Place both types of chocolate chips into a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate in 1-minute increments until the chips are melted and smooth. Stir and then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  14. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the melted chocolate into a clean medium bowl. Add butter and use an electric mixer to beat the butter and chocolate together until smooth.
  15. Add the powdered sugar and mix well.
  16. Add the hot coffee and mix until well blended, smooth and creamy.
  17. (Note: If the filling is too runny, add more powdered sugar 1 Tbsp at a time; if too stiff, add 1 tsp of coffee at a time until desired consistency is reached.)
  18. Lay out half of the cookies upside down on a clean counter or baking sheet. I like to scoop my filling into a small ziptop bag, cut one of the corners of the bag off and use it as a piping bag to pipe about 1 Tbsp of filling onto the cookies. You could also simply use a spoon to spread the filling onto the cookies.
  19. Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches and enjoy.
  20. These cookies would be particularly delicious served with coffee.
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Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Be sure to check out the new Gingersnap Cookie Mocha at Caribou Coffee this holiday season and also follow Caribou Coffee on Pinterest and Instagram to keep up on all of their seasonal specialties and news.

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Yes, Pumpkin Pie is a classic and I will certainly be making one for Thanksgiving next week, but in addition to the classic, I also like to make something with a little twist on the good old pie.

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing are one of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes and would still satisfy that craving for something pumpkin after turkey dinner.

Apples are probably tied with pumpkin for people’s favorite fall dessert flavor and this Apple Streusel Cake will provide comfort with warm spices and sweet apples.

Slab pies are a great way to still serve pie but without so much fuss.  This blueberry version is calling my name and could be made with frozen blueberries if fresh are not available.

If I’m making something that is not either apple or pumpkin, you know it’s going to be something chocolate like this classic Chocolate Pie from The Pioneer Woman.

Butterscotch is another flavor that makes me think of fall for some reason.  I bookmarked this Pumpkin Butterscotch Spice Cake Trifle and have been dying for an excuse to make it.  Trifles are such awe-inspiring desserts, yet they can be so easy to make.

I LOVE pecan pie maybe more than pumpkin and I am naturally drawn to any pecan dessert that incorporates chocolate into the mix.  These Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars are such a fantastically rich combination.

Tarts are so beautiful and look complicated, but actually are easy to make, especially with step-by-step instructions like in this recipe for a French Pear Tart from The Mediterranean Dish.

Maybe you want to totally step away from classic fall flavors all together and go with a much loved flavor combination:  peanut butter and chocolate.  These Peanut Butter Cup Pots de Creme from Glazed and Confused look dangerously delicious.

Still want to serve pie, but just not pumpkin?  Check out my board on Learnist for 7 other irresistible pie flavors.

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We are celebrating Friendsgiving on Saturday.  Do you participate in this tradition?  It’s really just a great excuse to get together with the friends who you are thankful for, share a meal and make some memories.  I have participated in Friendsgiving with different groups of friends for several years now and, no surprise, I am in charge of dessert.  One of the hosts requested traditional pumpkin pie and I am happy to open another can of pumpkin, I just can’t get enough.  These Pumpkin Cream Sandwich Cookies that I shared with you last week are one of my new favorite pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

as are these incredibly moist and fudgy Pumpkin Brownies.

Pumpkin Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

You might think, what?  Pumpkin in brownies?  But trust me, the combination is so spectacular because the pumpkin adds zero pumpkin flavor, only incredibly moist, dense texture.  It’s almost like eating a piece of real fudge and these brownies are so ultra chocolatey when topped with your favorite chocolate frosting,  I brought half of these Pumpkin Brownies to book club and the rest to work and everyone who tasted them said they were incredibly delicious.  I would love to mix in chopped walnuts or pecans next time I make them because I love a little crunch in my brownies.

Pumpkin Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

This recipe is from Averie Sunshine’s second cookbook Cooking with Pumpkin:  Recipes that go Beyond the Pie.

This book is brimming with delectable recipes that star pumpkin as the key ingredient.  One of the other recipes in the book that particularly got my mouth watering are these Salted Caramel and Pretzel Pumpkin Blondies, um what???

Averie has recipes for everything from breakfast goodies to cakes, cookies and pies to savory dishes that use pumpkin such as Soft Buttery Pumpkin Pretzels and Pumpkin Spice-Candied Nuts just to name a couple in that caught my eye immediately.  All of Averie’s recipes are simple to follow and don’t call for too many ingredients that you don’t already have in your pantry.  Each recipe is adjacent to a photo of the dish that will make you drool with anticipation while you wait for it to be ready.  I have followed Averie’s blog, Averie Cooks for quite awhile, so I already knew what she was capable of, but Cooking with Pumpkin really shows off her talents with creating recipes and photography.

Pumpkin Brownies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 25 brownies

Pumpkin Brownies are so moist, fudgy and intensely chocolatey, if you're a true chocoholic, this recipe is for you!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp coffee or water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9X9" baking pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, using a spatula or electric mixer, mix together butter and sugars until combined and smooth.
  3. Mix in eggs, coffee, vanilla and pumpkin puree and mix well.
  4. Mix in cocoa powder and flour and mix just until combined and no streaks of flour remain.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake 32-34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
  7. Cool completely before removing from the pan.
  8. Top with your favorite chocolate frosting, cut, and serve.
  9. Recipe adapted from Cooking with Pumpkin by Averie Sunshine
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*Countryman Press provided me with a review copy of this book but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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I was out of the country the first 3 weeks in September and the past 3 weekends, I have been in Atlanta, Sedona and Bismarck.  All of that traveling has meant no time for baking and blogging, waaaaaah!  Especially  this time of year, with the holidays right around the corner, I am itching to be in the kitchen.  This Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies are a great way to make my reappearance.

Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

In my opinion, oatmeal is the perfect partner for pumpkin and the pumpkin spice chips that I found were just screaming at me to mix them into soft, chewy oatmeal cookies.  The pumpkin spice chips have just the right amount of traditional pumpkin pie spice flavor and added the perfect amount of sweetness to the cookies, but I couldn’t resist taking over the top by sandwiching creamy, dreamy pumpkin cream cheese filling in between them.

Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sandwich cookies are always my favorite because you get to eat two cookies in one dessert!  Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies are a mouthful to say and a mouthful of comforting, nostalgic fall flavors.

Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 11-12 sandwich cookies

Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies: Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies flecked with pumpkin spice chips and filled with creamy pumpkin cream cheese filling

Ingredients

    For the cookies
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin spice chips (I used Tollhouse Pumpkin Spice Morsels)
  • For the filling
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp each allspice, cloves, nutmeg

Instructions

    For the cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugars and mix until well blended. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well. Mix in oats and pumpkin spice chips.
  3. Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, scoop 1/4 cup-sized balls of dough and place onto cookie sheets leaving 2 inches in between cookies.
  4. Bake 10 minutes.
  5. Cool cookies completely.
  6. For the filling
  7. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and pumpkin until mixed. Mis in remaining ingredients until smooth and combined.
  8. Use a spoon or small spatula to spread 1 Tbsp of filling on half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches.
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Pumpkin Chip Cream Sandwich Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Some (most??) people absolutey love going out for breafast of brunch.  I am not one of those people.  I would way rather dine out for lunch or dinner because i’m just not that in to breakfast.  I know “most important meal of the day” and all that and yes, I always eat something in the morning, but it certainly does not get me out of bed running to the kitchen with excitement.  However, that all changes if I know I’ve got something extra special to go with my daily latte.  Knowing that this Pumpkin Vanilla Banana Bread was on my counter just waiting for me to lightly toast and slather with butter was definitely more motivating for me to get moving in the morning.

Pumpkin Vanilla Banana Bread {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I have never come across a recipe with more moistening ingredients combined into one baked good.  By themselves, pumpkin, coconut milk, butter and mashed bananas will each lead to a soft, moist bread, but combined, oh my this bread is unreal.  And I haven’t even told you about the flavor!  Although you may worry that all of those ingredients may result in an odd flavor combination, fear not!  The shining flavor profiles in the is Pumpkin Vanilla Banana Bread are really the bananas, vanilla and cinnamon which is not that surprising because coconut milk and pumpkin are not as strong of flavor contenders.  I would also love this Pumpkin Vanilla Banana Bread with walnuts or chocolate chips (or even both) mixed in.

Pumpkin Vanilla Banana Bread {satisfymysweettooth.com}

This bread is just one of the many irresistible recipes in Jessica Merchant’s premier cookbook Seriously Delish.  Jessica’s blog How Sweet It Is is one that I diligently read line-by-line because she is such a hilarious, honest and witty writer.  Whether she’s sharing a recipe or her latest beaut favorites, I just can’t get enough of her clever prose.

Seriously Delish is filled with plenty of Jessica’s charm and humor as each recipe has a lovely introduction from her.  We get to learn about how Jessica gets her inspiration for the recipes she creates and about her very realistic and I think, healthy relationship with food.  Even her chapter headings are fun and draw you in:

 

From enticing snacks to drool-worthy dinners, Jessica’s photos in Seriously Delish will have you wanting to reach into the page to grab the taco, burger or dessert right off the page.  Each photo accompanying a recipe is so colorful and filled with texture that you really feel like you can almost taste the runny egg or juicy fruit.  I look forward to baking and cooking my way through this cookbook.

Pumpkin Vanilla Banana Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 1 9X5" loaf (about 12 servings)

Pumpkin Vanilla Banana Bread: The very moistest, flavorful quick bread that will comfort you on these cool fall days

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X5-inch loaf pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, bananas, coconut milk, melted butter, molasses and vanilla bean paste (or extract) until thoroughly combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure thorough mixing.
  3. Mix in both flours, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 85-95 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean or with only a few crumbs on it.
  6. Cool the bread in the pan placed onto a wire rack. Gently run a knife around the edges and remove from the pan.
  7. Cut and serve.
  8. Recipe adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant
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Pumpkin Vanilla Banana Bread {satisfymysweettooth.com}

*Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided me with a review copy of this book, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

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