I know it’s only August, and yes, I’m totally not ready to accept that fall begins next month, but I really wanted ginger cookies. Who’s to say they’re just for fall or winter? So I made some.. and in them went three ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped into fine chunks, of course; then sandwiched together with a purple Italian cream cheese filling. Sounds amazing right? Believe me, it is. Earlier this year I made something similar with Meyer lemons and they were utterly delicious. I haven’t really done much with blackberries so far, so I thought I’d make the cookies again, upgraded, and this time with a different filling. I really love the combination of blackberry and coconut, add it to mascarpone cheese and it’s something close to heaven!
I always get excited when I pull these cookies out of the oven. The crackled tops are almost always on point. To me, how a cookie top looks matters immensely, especially photographically. If a cookie does not have my desired look, I will continue to tweak the recipe and bake a thousand of said cookies till I get there. There was much trial and error in perfecting this recipe when I first came up with it. Now I can happily use the recipe with one hundred percent confidence that it will turn out just as I envisioned, and not just for me, but for other’s as well.
On a completely random note, I’ve been jumping back and forth with photography style these past few weeks. I’m deeply inclined to dark, sharp, and shadowy tones; but I also love bright and clean, especially when it comes to food. So, I’m still working on finding “my style”. I’m hoping someday it will fall between the two I admire most and be somewhat unique in its own way. Until then, I shall keep on playing with light and technique. I fail miserably a lot of times, but that’s okay; it is a never ending journey trying to improve oneself.
Blackberry Coconut Mascarpone Cheese Filling
8-ounce plain mascarpone cheese, room temp.
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup large blackberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut.
pinch of salt
Be sure to bring all the ingredients to room temperature before using, mascarpone is prone to curdle easily.
In a small saucepan, mash the 1/4 of large blackberries and place on the stovetop over low heat. Simmer the berries till more of the juices are released, about 3 minutes. Pour the berries into a sieve and press out the juices, take out 2 tablespoons and set aside so it can come to room temperature. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the pulp as well, and bring it to room temperature before using.
Once all the ingredients have come to room temperature, place the cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer(on high speed)till creamy. Slowly add the blackberry juice, pulp, pinch of salt, and powdered sugar. Beat till incorporated. Stir in the shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator till ready to use.
Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies
makes about 22 cookies / 11 sandwich cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 large egg, room temp.
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
With an electric standing mixer with whisk(s) attached, beat the butter and sugar till creamy and light, about 3-4 minutes. Add the molasses and beat till combined, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the eggs and beat till completely incorporated. Scrape down the bowl again and add 1/3 of the flour and half of the chopped chocolate, beat till just incorporated. Scrape, then add the other 2/3 of flour and beat till there’s no dry flour left to be seen. Pour 1/3 cup of sugar onto a plate and set aside. Take out pieces of the dough and roll it into a 1-inch ball, do not roll the balls till their surface is smooth, I roughly roll it into a ball. Roll the ball around in the sugar that was set aside, just coat it lightly. Place on prepared baking sheet till there is no more room, place them about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake in preheated oven for 13 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and let them rest on the pan for five minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once all the cookies have cooled completely and come to room temperature add the cream filling by using a pastry bag with a large round tip attached. Take one cookie and pipe on about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream. Sandwich together with another cookie. Enjoy! I recommend refrigerating the cookies when not being eaten.