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.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}
Need creative ideas for packaging your holiday cookies? Check out my board on Learnist for 7 great ideas!

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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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

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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I think that most people who drink coffee everyday develop their habit (addiction) while in college.  I mean sure there are the few individuals who start early and like to drink a cup of coffee in the morning before high school, but for the most part, I would bet that most people who drink some form of coffee each day started the ritual in college.  Day after day of grueling studying for endless exams, learning to live on your own and managing all of the chores and responsibility that comes with that privilege, and one or two nights of late night dance parties and it’s not wonder that so many people get hooked on caffeine to help them get through the day.

Somehow, I managed to make it through four years of college, four years of dental school and a year of residency without needing or even being able to handle joining the cool club of coffee drinkers!  I would drink tea or hot chocolate just for something warm and satisfying, but I always found coffee so acidic that it would upset my stomach which made it not even worth trying to drink.  But then I got married and we received a Nespresso machine and I began drinking a latte on the weekend days.  I found that I could handle a latte and began to enjoy it so much that I have now joined the coffee drinking forces and find that I do not enjoy my morning as much without that latte.  When I make them at home, I usually just have a nonfat latte with some type of sweetener, but occasionally I like to order something special like a chai latte.  I love the warm spices of a chai latte and it almost satisfies me like a dessert!  Which is one reason I was so excited to make these Chai Spice Cookie Bars.

Chai Spice Cookie Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chai Spice Cookie Bars have the fantastic combination of cinnamon, ginger and cloves which seem to warm you from the inside out.  Those spices combined with malt powder, brown sugar and plenty of butter make for a perfect slightly crunchy cookie base.  Top that off with melted white chocolate and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, and you have the perfect snack to go with your warm morning cup of whatever it is that you drink.

Chai Spice Cookie Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chai Spice Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 30 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp malted milk powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for decoration
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9X13" baking pan with parchment paper allowing extra parchment to overhang the edges of the pan. Grease the parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and mix to combine.
  4. Add flour, oats, malted milk powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and mix until well combined.
  5. Press dough evenly into prepared pan.
  6. Bake 22-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Place white chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments until melted and smooth.
  8. Pour melted white chocolate over warm bars and spread evenly.
  9. Cool completely before cutting and serving.
  10. Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

Chai Spice Cookie Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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My bags are packed.  I am leaving for New York City this morning with my mom.  I don’t think I will be able to believe the reason that is bringing me to the city until I arrive at NBC studios on Tuesday for rehearsal.  Then Wednesday is the big day on The Today Show.

I can hardly wait to shop for Christmas presents at Union Square Holiday Market, marvel at the window decorations at Bergdorf’s, and take a bakery tour through Baked, Bouchon and Jacques Torres.  But I couldn’t leave without sharing one more perfect holiday cookie with you.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Chocolate Snickerdoodles are unassumingly delicious.  They have the cookie texture that I find perfect which is crunchy around the edges and chewy in the middle.  These Chocolate Snickerdoodles are perfectly spiced and the subtle hint of chocolate that comes through as you finish your cookie is so satisfying.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

One of my favorite ways to enjoy chocolate is when it is combined with cinnamon and even a pinch of cayenne pepper.  I just love that warming, multi-noted chocolate flavor combination.  There is a local coffee shop that makes a spicy hot chocolate with either dark or milk chocolate.  It is one of my favorite special weekend treats and reminds me of the flavors of Red Hot candies.  Do you know those small, bright red cinnamon candies that you may have had dissolved in apple cider growing up or used to decorate gingerbread men?  The spicy hot chocolate tastes like they dissolved the cinnamon candies into perfectly rich and creamy hot chocolate.  My love for this warm, comforting drink stems from precisely the same reasons that I love these Chocolate Snickerdoodles.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Snickerdoodles {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 30 cookies

Perfectly spiced snickerdoodles with the subtle flavor of chocolate

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a small, microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolate in 30 second increments until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar. Add melted, cooled chocolate, egg and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking soda and salt until well incorporated.
  5. Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll the balls into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  6. Place coated dough balls onto baking sheets and gently flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Leave 2 inches between cookies as they will spread while baking.
  7. Bake 10 minutes or until cookies are puffy and tops are cracked.
  8. Transfer cookies to wire racks for cooling.
  9. Recipe adapted from Food and Wine magazine

cream together butter and sugar

IMG_2086

mix in remaining ingredients

IMG_2087

roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar mixture

IMG_2089

place onto cookie sheets and flatten slightly

IMG_2090

bake until puffy and cracked

IMG_2091

IMG_2114

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When I have guests over, I love to send them home with a little something that they can enjoy the following day.  A small bag of fudge or caramels, half of a batch of cookies, or scones for the next morning are what I have in mind.  This Thanksgiving, I plan to send my guests home with a bag of these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I have had the vision for these cookies floating around in my mind since the leaves first began to change this year.  I have a perpetual bag of cinnamon chips in my freezer that I was looking to find a purpose for and half of a can of pumpkin puree leftover in my refrigerator, so I was anxious to put both of those ingredients to use.  Oatmeal with cinnamon is one of the most obviously delicious flavor combinations and also I love the texture that oatmeal provides to cookies when it gets all puffed up.  As I was developing the recipe for these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies, I happily remembered that pumpkin is a great replacement for butter and oil in recipes and provides such great moisture in baked goods without the added fat.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I love the flavor and texture that nuts offer, so I opted to add chopped walnuts to the Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies, but you could certainly leave them out or opt for a different nut like pecans if you wish.  These cookies are perfectly soft and chewy thanks to the oatmeal and pumpkin and I know they would be a welcome addition to your holiday dessert table.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

1 cookies

Oatmeal cookies that are stuffed full of walnuts and cinnamon chips and stay extra soft and chewy thanks to added pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or lightly grease them).
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, brown sugar and white sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well to combine.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until just combined.
  5. Mix in oats, then cinnamon chips and walnuts.
  6. Drop dough in 1/4 cup sized balls onto prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned.

Notes

Per cookies: Calories: 135 Fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 24g

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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