Gingerbread Latte Cookies
If you have a thing for gingerbread desserts, you’re in good company. Baker, recipe developer and blogger Tessa Huff, who loves gingerbread-inspired treats during the holidays, created these irresistible sandwich cookies. She incorporates molasses and spices into the dough, along with almond flour and a bit of cocoa for extra depth and softness, then pairs the cookies with a unexpected espresso buttercream filling. These cookies are a natural with a cup of coffee, a gingerbread latte or a cup of tea.
For the cookies:
- 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) ground almond flour
- 2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbs. ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. fine salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup (5 1/2 oz./170 g) molasses
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 1 Tbs. hot water
- 1/2 heaping tsp. instant espresso powder
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (5 oz./155 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the cookies, in a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and cloves. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the egg, molasses and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat until just combined and the dough comes together, about 1 minute.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. Place each piece on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll or press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
Place 1 dough disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll out about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick, dusting with flour to prevent sticking.
Using a fluted 3-inch (7.5-cm) round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Using an offset spatula, transfer to 2 ungreased nonstick baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. (If the dough becomes sticky or hard to work with, transfer to the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to firm up.) Repeat with the remaining dough disk. Gather up the scraps, shape into a disk and cut out more cookies.
Using a star or other small cutter, cut out a shape in the center of half of the cookies; these will become the tops of the sandwiches. Save the star cutouts and bake them if you like.
Bake until the cookies are set and the dough is no longer shiny, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely.
To make the filling, in a small bowl, stir together the hot water and espresso powder until dissolved. In the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the clean flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar, espresso mixture and vanilla and beat, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
To assemble, using a small offset spatula, knife or the back of a spoon, spread about 2 slightly heaping tsp. of the filling on the flat side of the plain cookies (without the cutouts). Top with the remaining cookies (with the cutout shapes), flat side down, and gently press together. If the filling is a bit soft, refrigerate in an airtight container until set, about 20 minutes. Makes about 12 sandwich cookies.
Recipe by Tessa Huff, creator of the blog Style Sweet CA