October 26, 2011

Gingersnap Caramel Sandwich Cookies for the Bake Sale {Naptime Entertaining}

Sandwich Cookies The Occasion: Daughter’s pre-school bake sale!

Menu: Gingersnap Caramel Sandwich Cookies, Molasses Cookies from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer cookbook and 1 batch pumpkin bars.

Attendees: The masses.

Naptime Goals: Bake everything!

I have done a banner job of overcommitting myself this year. The second I am done with one event it is on to the next. I am not complaining in the least, but I do get tired once in a while. Last week was a particularly strenuous one. I prepared for a Halloween cupcake decorating party, immediately followed by my daughter’s school bake sale. For my contribution to the sale I baked a sweet snappy cookie that reminds me of fall, the gingersnap. To give it an extra flavor boost I sandwiched some caramel buttercream in the middle and bagged them up. While my daughter was napping on Wednesday I made the dough for the cookies and let them chill until I baked them on Friday. Making the dough ahead of time made it so much easier. I wanted to wait until the last minute to bake them so they would stay super fresh and with the dough prepared it was easy to pull them out to bake at the eleventh hour, which was actually after my daughter went to bed on Friday night. On the Saturday of the sale I whipped up some fresh buttercream and sandwiched the cookies before sending them off to the bake sale booth. Everything was sold for the set price of $3 per bag to raise money for the school. My bags of sweet, snappy sandwich cookies were an absolute hit and sold like hotcakes, as did everything else on the table. It was an awesome way to raise money and share some sweet fall flavors with everyone. Once the sale was over we wandered home to enjoy a chill afternoon. Well, my husband and daughter had a calm afternoon, at least. I was busy preparing for my next activity: baking candy corn cookies with my daughter’s class next week.

Recipe

 Gingersnap Caramel Sandwiches

adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pinch cayenne
1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
½ cup granulated sugar for rolling

For the buttercream:

¾ cup caramel
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
4 large egg whites

Instructions

1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

2. Add the butter to a small skillet over medium-low heat and stir frequently until the butter turns a light shade of brown. Pour the warm butter to a heatproof bowl and whisk in the ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cayenne. Allow the mixture to cool for about 2 minutes, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses and fresh ginger. Then dd the egg and egg yolk and whisk to combine. Finally, slowly stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Pinch the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in the granulated sugar then place them on a baking sheet 1-inch apart. I fit about 20 balls per baking sheet.

4. Bake each sheet for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheet to allow it to bake for another 15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. To make the buttercream: Beat the butter until very soft and fluffy. Set aside. In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water add the egg whites and sugar and warm through until a candy thermometer registers 160F. In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg white mixture until it forms stiff peaks. Slowly add in the butter until completely smooth, followed by the caramel. 6. Spread the buttercream between each cookie and serve.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

These cookies are also delicious on their own and the dough can be frozen for up to three months before baking.

Naptime Stopwatch

20 minutes for the dough, 20 minutes for the buttercream

Naptime Reviews

Sold out!

  • Miss

    Sounds delicious! I love gingersnaps and with caramel they must be over the top.

  • Georgia Pellegrini

    I love gingersnap, these look amazing!

  • Beginner

    When you say ‘caramel’ in this recipe, what kind is it? Can I buy it in a store? What brand? Or do I need to make it? Thank you!

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi! Yes, storebought. No specific brand, but I love stonewall kitchen whenever I can find it..