February 4, 2010

Spice Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting {Webisode #11}

My Day So Far: Birthday gift shopping for kid’s birthday party this weekend, bus trip across the park for daughter’s playdate!
Naptime Goals: Bake Spice Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting for friend’s daughter’s birthday party. Wrap present and prepare for weekend festivities.
Tonight’s Meal: Spaghetti and Meatball night – it never fails to please!
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Toddler hid your credit cards? Check between the books on your bookshelf.

Last weekend was my friend’s daughter’s 3rd birthday party. She was taking care of the birthday cake and pizza, and to lend her a hand I offered to bring some munchies for the parents. Not that adults don’t like birthday cake, but sometimes we need a little something of our own that is not covered with pink princesses and tiny fingerprints.

My friend Jen first introduced me to this recipe for spice cookies with cream cheese filling when she served them as the adult treat at her son’s birthday party last fall. I fell instantly in love with the unique flavor from the layered spices, moist texture and creamy filling. To give it my own twist I adjusted the spice ratios a bit and flavored the frosting with Meyer lemons (of course!). The addition of the lemon gives the frosting an added tang that contrasts nicely with the deep molasses. I get the feeling the party guests agree with this flavor pairing, the adults, and one of the toddlers, gobbled them right up.

As you’ll see in this video, I made these cookie’s during my daughter’s afternoon naptime the day before the event. Then, the morning of the party, I whipped up the cream cheese frosting with my little helper, and completed the cookie sandwiches. (I am still thanking my lucky stars she didn’t mess up her party dress while she was licking the spatula!) When they were complete I whisked them off to the party in my awesome OXO Good Grip TOP Container, and placed them on the cake stand. Given that I came home with an empty container, I can honestly say they were a hit and would be wherever you might choose to serve them as well.


Spice Sandwich Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

cookie recipe loosely adapted from King Arthur Flour


1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
½ c. regular molasses
2 ¼ t. baking soda
1 t. Kosher Salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 ½ t. cloves
1 t. ground ginger
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
3 ½ c. all-purpose flour

Sanding sugar or granulated sugar for rolling

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 c. confectioners sugar
1 t. vanilla extract

Zest of 1 Meyer lemon


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, or until pale and fluffy.
3. Then, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the baking soda, salt, molasses, spices and pepper. Mix well until everything is completely combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Sift the flour into the batter, mixing only until the flour is not visible anymore. Do not overbeat.
5. Roll the dough into 1 ½″ round balls with your hands and roll in the sanding sugar. Place on a cookie sheet 2″ apart and bake for 11-13 minutes, or until cookies are slightly puffy and slightly darker in color. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the Frosting:
1. Mix butter and cream cheese until completely combined. Then, sift in the confectioners sugar and lemon zest. Pour in the vanilla and mix until frosting is completely combined and totally smooth.

To make the cookies: Once the cookies have completely cooled add a little bit of frosting to the underside of one and sandwich a second one on top!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

If you don’t want a lemon frosting you can always leave the cream cheese frosting plain, or add the zest of an orange or a tiny drop of flavoring extract like vanilla or almond.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making the cookies does not take long, maybe 30 minutes. Allow time for the cookies to cool – at least an hour – before frosting them. Or, store the cookies in an airtight container and frost them the following day right before they are served.

Naptime Reviews

These cookies have slightly more adult flavors, but a lot of kids like them, too. They are great to serve as nibbles on a dessert platter, or just to have around the house!