Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bruce's Gingerbread and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stacker (GPCS)

Makes about 2 Dozen (Use 2 ¼ x 2 ¼” square or 2 ¼” diameter/round cookie cutter)
This dessert will bring all the pleasant flavors of fall together in a tasteful sandwich cookie. Try making these with a pumpkin or bell shape cookie cutter for a holiday style presentation. 
(Recipe Adapted by Bruce Maw)

3 ½ cups all—purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 large egg
¼ cup unsulfured molasses
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling (See instructions below)
White Icing (See instructions below)
48 Pecan Pieces and 24 Chocolate Chips

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice and cloves: set aside.
2. In a bowl, beat butter, both sugars, and fresh ginger on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in egg and molasses to mixture. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until well integrated.
3. Turn out the dough on to a clean surface, divide in half, shape into flattened disks; wrap each in plastic. Dough will be soft. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with racks in the upper and lower areas. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Remove dough from the refrigerator, and let stand until slightly softened. On a working surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out dough to about ¼ inches thick.
5. Working quickly, cut out with cookie cutters. (If the dough begins to soften too much, place in freezer for a few minutes.) Reroll scraps and cut out additional dough shapes. Repeat with remaining dough half. Using a spatula, transfer cutouts to prepared baking sheets; chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
6. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are crisp but not darkened, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cookies cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Divide cookies evenly into bottoms and tops to create sandwiches.
7. Drop one tbsp or pipe pumpkin cream cheese filling onto bottoms and spread evenly. Set aside.
8. Spread icing over one half of top cookie. Decorate with two pecan pieces and one chocolate chip (optional). Place top cookies on bottom cookies to create a sandwich. Cookies should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Refrigerate filled cookies to store.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
½ cup pureed pumpkin (canned optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
5 tbsp packed brown sugar
Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and brown sugar until smooth.

White Icing
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Whisk cream into sugar until smooth. Use immediately.

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