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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One of my favorite parts of the week is Saturday mornings.  My husband can vouch for how much I truly love sleeping in on the weekends.  Then when I wake up, it feels so luxurious to make my latte at my own pace and then it’s time.  I love to sit on the couch, sip my coffee and watch the cooking shows that I record each week.  Without fail if there is a new Pioneer Woman and/or Giada De Laurentiis, I am giddy with excitement to hunker down and watch.  There is not always a recipe that I choose to replicate, but even so, I just enjoy watching people cook on TV.  I particularly love holiday episodes and last weekend, there were some great fall recipes shared on the Halloween episodes.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Giada made pumpkin bacon cheesecakes, which I adapted into these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crusts.   I opted to omit the bacon because I was not in the mood for a savory dessert.  I have told you before that I am not crazy about cheesecakes, but the exception is pumpkin.  The creamy whipped filling for these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes tastes like a rich pumpkin pie filling.  And the crust of any cheesecake is my favorite part whether it is composed of graham crackers, Oreo cookies or gingersnaps.  The warm, spicy crust of these mini cheesecakes topped with perfectly spiced, rich pumpkin filling is fall in a bite.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I love anything that is bite-sized and so I decided to serve these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crusts for my book club that I hosted last week.  We read a book that I really loved called The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.  The book was about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife and it certainly led to some interesting conversation!  This dessert was the perfect two-bite sweet to pass around the table after dinner while we discussed.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 24 mini cheesecakes

Individually-sized cheesecakes with all of your favorite fall flavors combined into a perfect two-bite treat

Ingredients

    For the crust
  • 16 gingersnap cookies (enough to yield 1 cup crumbs)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • For the cheesecake filling
  • 1 (8-ounce) package light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg)
  • pinch of salt
  • whipped cream for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. For the crust
  3. Place cookies into a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. (If you do not have a food processor, place cookies into a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin.)
  4. Place cookie crumbs into a small bowl, pour melted butter into the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Place ~1Tbsp of crumb mixture into each paper liner and press it down using a muddler, bottom of a shot glass (or something flat and small).
  6. For the filling
  7. In another medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the filling. Use an electric mixer to mix until smooth and well blended.
  8. Use a small ice cream scoop (or spoon) to place ~2 Tbsp of filling on top of each crust. Bake 12 minutes or until tops are cracked.
  9. Cool 10 minutes then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  10. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each cheesecake before serving.
  11. Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

combine cookie crumbs and butter for crust

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blend all ingredients for filling together

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IMG_2291

place 1 Tbsp of crust into paper liners

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press the crust down firmly

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top crusts with 2 Tbsp filling

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bake

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place a dollop whipped cream onto each cheesecake before serving

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Gingerbread men and houses have never been a yearly tradition for me.  However, I don’t really know why because I adore the spicy and complex flavor of ginger anything.  I spotted this adorable cookie cutter awhile ago though and I could not resist trying a new gingerbread cutout cookie recipe.

I was particularly intrigued by this recipe because it is one of the cookie recipes in the incredibly talented Bridget Edward’s book Decorating Cookies.  This book will encourage you to channel your inner cookie artist and try to recreate one of the 60 fun designs that Bridget offers in this book.

And not only does Bridget offer design inspiration, but she has you covered with all of the basics from how to fill a pastry bag to how to make your cookies sparkle with specialty decorating ingredients.

The thing that is so inspiring about this book is that Bridget is a self-taught baker and decorator which means that flawless design can be achieved by anyone with enough practice.  I have tried making royal icing several times and I must say, with the step-by-step instructions in this book, I was able to achieve my best frosting yet!

Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: ~30 cookies

Warm and spicy gingerbread cookies perfect for decorating

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cool and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg and mix to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients in three increments and mix until well combined.
  4. Divide dough in half and form each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out chilled dough one disk at a time (leaving the other disk in the refrigerator until you are ready to work with it) to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut shapes out and place onto prepared baking sheets leaving about 2 inches between the cookies.
  7. Place the sheets of unbaked cookies into the freezer for 5 minutes so that the cookies will maintain their shapes while baking.
  8. Remove from freezer and immediately bake 9-12 minutes or centers seem set.
  9. Cool completely before decorating.
  10. Recipe adapted from Decorating Cookies by Bridget Edwards

Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

*Sterling Publishing provided me with a copy of Decorating Cookies by Bridget Edwards, but all opinions are, as always, my own.  

And, don’t forget to enter my ThermoWorks Thermapen Digital Thermometer Giveaway!

 

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Last I shared with you one of my favorite Christmas cookies which are these Ginger Molasses Cookies from my grandma’s Bridge Club Cookbook.

I have to taste those cookies every year, or it just doesn’t feel like Christmas. This year I decided that since I love the molasses flavor of those cookies so much, why not mix it up a bit and try these Chewy Ginger and Molasses Chocolate Cookies?

These cookies are so soft and chewy and the bursts of chocolate from the chocolate chips embedded in these cookies offers a welcomed richness.  These cookies are also very sturdy, so again, if you are sending cookies to someone or bringing cookies to an exchange, these cookies would travel particularly well.

Chewy Ginger and Molasses Chocolate Cookies

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 26 cookies

Thick and chewy molasses cookies embedded with sweet, rich chocolate chips

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups, plus 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or ground if you don't have whole nutmeg on hand)
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp hot water
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa.
  2. In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
  3. Add molasses and mix to combine.
  4. In another small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the 1 1/2 Tbsp hot water.
  5. Add half of dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix in baking soda and water combination. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix well to incorporate.
  6. Mix in chocolate chips.
  7. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight (this will allow the dough to stay stiff whie it bakes so the cookies stay tall and puffy).
  8. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.
  9. Roll dough into 1 1/2 -inch balls and roll each ball in the granulated sugar. Place onto cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until edges feel set.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies.

cream together butter and brown sugar

add molasses

add dry ingredients and baking soda mixture

mix in chocolate chips

after refrigerating dough, roll balls in sugar, then bake

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Are you obsessed with ginger chews like I am?  I love to buy them at Trader Joe’s!  They are such a satisfying little treat with their perfect chewiness and burst of fresh ginger flavor.  I really love ginger in just about anything because it gives such warm spice to whatever you add it to.

When I saw this recipe for Candied Ginger from America’s Test Kitchen I had a feeling that the resulting sweet would be very similar to my much-loved store-bought chews.  This homemade version punches you with even more of a spicy ginger kick.  Also, as a bonus, if you save the syrup that you get after boiling the ginger, it is the perfect addition to cocktails, oatmeal, whipped cream or anything else you can think of that could use a sweet ginger jolt.

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peel and slice ginger

combine water and 2 cups of sugar in a small sauce pan and simmer until sugar is dissolved, then add ginger and simmer for 30 minutes

strain ginger in colander over bowl to reserve syrup

lay ginger in a single layer on piece of wax paper and allow to dry

once dry, toss in remaining sugar

What would you do with ginger simply syrup?

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