Homestead Gardens Inspired Holidays by Rita Calvert
For all of the inspired tree vignettes at both Homestead Gardens locations, Dear Santa linking with Grandma's Kitchen gets the most excitement. You must know that Grandma is also fixing up a storm of peppermint and gingerbread in her mid-century modern kitchen. There are all kinds of fun ornaments to hang on the tree but the dear gal thought it would be dandy if we gave you a holiday recipe to make yourself.
You'll find a fun version of the all-time famous, Whoopie Pies-in gingerbread with a hint of lemon in the filling. Since Grandma is also asked for an extremely healthy pumpkin pie, she is recommending this paleo pumpkin pie from Elana where you can read more on her background on her blog.
Those reindeer are looking for that heavenly aroma from the kitchen!
Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
Makes about 30-32 cookie sandwiches
(cookies from Pink Parsley, who adapted from King Arthur Flour),
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, salt, baking, soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, beating to incorporate, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add one third of the dry ingredients, followed by the molasses, then half of the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the buttermilk, and finally, the rest of the dry ingredients. Beat only until incorporated.
Using a small cookie scoop (mine measures about 1 1/2 inches across - you'll need to adjust the baking time accordingly if yours is larger), portion the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes (rotating the baking sheets halfway through), or until the cookies spring back when gently pressed. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes then remove the cookies to the racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl in between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon extract. With mixer on medium, beat for another minute or so, until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Match the cookies in pairs by size. Transfer the filling to a piping bag and pipe a small amount onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair. Sandwich the cookies together, and press the filling to the edges. Sprinkle the tops with confectioners’ sugar.