For this cookie (and really any spice cookie) you need the freshest spices. If your spices have been sitting around for a while – lets say for one year or so, then toss them and pick up some new ones. Small quantities only, remember it’s only a bargain if it gets used. This is nice dough and I used the large Ziploc freezer bag to press and roll the dough (a la the technique from Dorie Greenspan in Christmas Cookie #1). When it had firmed up, I cut open the bag and cut shapes out of the flattened dough. For this quantity of dough, I used 2 freezer bags. Anytime I can get out of rolling cookie dough, I’m in.

This cookie tastes great and the spices evoke Christmas memories. But while it is sometimes okay to look back, this time, let’s just look ahead at all the wonders the season and the year ahead brings. As always – enjoy!

For the cookies:
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) Churn 84 unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup molasses

For the ginger cream filling:
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature – critical or it will be difficult to stir, microwave in 10 second bursts if needed
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Make the cookies:
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the ground ginger, fresh ginger, pepper, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves – set aside
Using your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat brown sugar and butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3–4 minutes
Add egg yolks and molasses and beat until combined
Add dry ingredients and starting on low, slowly increase to medium-low speed until well combined – another 2-3 minutes
Divide dough between 2 large freezer bags and flatten and spread the mixture throughout the bag
Use a rolling pin to ensure even thickness
Refrigerate the dough until firm – about 1 hour
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut open the bags and pull back the plastic
Using a 1.5” round cutter, cut circles into the dough – as close as possible
To remove, bend the bag if necessary and place the cookie disc on the baking tray about 1/2” apart
Bake for 8-10 minutes – rotate the trays half way through
Combine remaining scraps and repeat the process
Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool completely
Make the filling and assemble the sandwiches:

In a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and candied ginger – in hindsight, it might have been better to do this in a processor to make a smoother paste
Spread about 1/2 tsp. filling on flat side of half of the cookies and sandwich with remaining cookies
Refrigerate until ready to serve
These will keep for a week in the fridge for a week