A while back, I spied these cookies from Not Without Salt on Instagram (seriously addicted - to the cookies and IG!). Ashley didn't have the recipe up on her site, but when I contacted her she kindly wrote a post about these beauties. The brown butter and mascarpone caught my attention and wouldn't let go. And really Christmas can't be Christmas unless there is the smell of ginger cookies in the air. The brown butter is nutty and subtle and balances well with the heady ginger and freshly grated nutmeg. A little coarse salt adds another nuance of flavour and these are perfect with a hot cup of tea while you do the last minute wrapping or if you just want to sit quietly before the cavalcade of company arrives.
Rolled in raw organic sugar, they crackle as they bake and look ever so pretty. Cake-like and tender, with a swoosh of honey mascarpone filling, these are the best cookies to leave for Santa. Maybe pack up a goodie bag for Mrs. Claus while you're at it.
Let's talk about the filling for a sec. It's incredible. I've never filled a cookie with mascarpone before, but it's bliss. Pure bliss. The honey I mixed it with is from Nude Bee Honey. They were kind enough to send me jars of wild and buckwheat honey. Based in Ontario, this is raw, delicious golden goodness. I've spread it on hot buttered toast and stirred it into tea and eaten it as is, by the spoonful. The wild honey is full of floral, clover flavour and the buckwheat is rich and reminds me of caramel. For this recipe I mixed a little buckwheat honey with the mascarpone and once the cookies were cool I made little sandwiches, but you could easily top a single cookie and eat it like that. Just fill as many cookies as you think you'll eat, and keep the remainder of the filling in the fridge for a few days. The ginger cookies soften and get more flavourful as they sit in an airtight container, and will keep for a few days, but I guarantee they won't last that long in this house.
I wish you all a peaceful, happy (and drama-free) holiday season, surrounded by those you love best. I'm slipping out of town for a few days and I can't wait to have crisp, country air fill my lungs and the spirit of the season surround me with joy. Sweet Tidings! xoxo Renee
Disclosure: I received jars of honey from Nude Bee Honey Co. but the opinions and text are my own. As always, I won't write about a product unless I really love it. Nude Bee can be found across Canada at several Roots locations, and across Ontario.
Brown Butter Ginger Cookies with Honey Mascarpone Cream
3/4 cup browned butter*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I freshly grated mine)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
organic raw sugar for rolling, or coarse sugar or just ordinary granulated
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp good honey
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
*To brown butter: melt butter in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil. It will foam up and the milk solids will turn golden brown. I like to swirl the pan around as it boils. The butter will smell nutty and wonderful, just don't let it get too dark which can happen quickly, so keep your eyes on it. As soon as there are golden brown bits on the bottom of the pan, turn it off. Let it cool a little bit before continuing with the recipe
Combine the brown butter with sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Beat to combine. Add the egg and molasses and beat it well. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add this to the butter mixture and beat it just until combined. Chill the dough for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350*F. Scoop the dough into tablespoon size balls. Roll it in your hands to form a ball and roll it into the raw sugar. Place on a parchment lined bake sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until puffy. Let them cool before filling with the mascarpone cream.
To make the filling, just combine the mascarpone, honey and vanilla. Spread on cookies, sandwich them and serve. Makes about 24 cookies. Recipe from Not Without Salt.
The recipe for the cookies in the card can be found here.