Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sweet Tidings! Brown Butter Ginger Cookies with Honey Mascarpone Cream

Two days before the big day, and I'm happy to report the unwinding has begun.  For the last several weeks the ol' nerves have been wound tighter than a Christmas Cracker.  No joke.  Just ask the handsome man.  But with the final catering gig out of the way, and an order from the boss not to return for two weeks, I'm able to finally feel merry about the season.  Yesterday I drove about town, not even bothered about the hideous road conditions in my city, and dropped off parcels of goodies to friends I haven't seen in so long.  Christmas hugs and wishes of good cheer felt so good.  I'm hoping the stress and anxiety of the last several weeks will wash away with a good dose of deep sleep, good food & drink and so much laughter my cheeks hurt.  And cookies.  This is really the only time of year when it's perfectly acceptable to have cookies at all meals.  Am I right or am I right? 

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 egg
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. 
Merry Christmas!


  1. Oh Renee these cookies look AWESOME! Wish I had one right now. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful holiday - you deserve it!

  2. These do sound like an addiction in the making. Enjoy your holidays!!!

  3. I saw these on Pinterest and they look amazing. Your photographs are just beautiful. Merry Christmas!

  4. Merry Christmas! Glad you're getting your much needed break. And yes, cookies for every meal are more than appropriate these days. Wish I had one of these delicious looking cookies right now!

  5. Thank you so much everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your holidays!


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