I am blessed to have some very good friends; longtime friends who know me so well that things between us can often go unspoken.
My friend Anna is one of those friends. We know each other so well that we can comfortably be quiet together. We often converse in sentence fragments. There's no need to finish the sentences because we each know what the other is thinking anyway. It's a very comfortable kind of friendship and I value it more than I can begin to tell you here.
Anna's taught me a lot of good plain cooking over the years, including this recipe for molasses sandwich cookies with buttercream filling. The recipe came to Anna from her friend Shelly. Shelly got it from her mom. Shelly's mom got it from her mom.
I love recipes like that!
These cookies are surprising.: The deep molasses taste of the cookie is pleasantly offset by the sweetness of the filling, the texture of the biscuit by the soft buttercream. You'll find yourself going back to the cookie jar again and again.
To make Molasses Sandwich Cookies with Buttercream Filling, you'll need:
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup mild molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- icing (confectioners) sugar
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Begin by creaming 1 cup of butter and the brown sugar together.
Add in the molasses.
Beat the egg and add it in too. Stir until these ingredients are well combined.
In another bowl, whisk together the baking soda and flour.
Add the flour mixture to the butter and molasses mixture and work them together. (I stir mine first with a wooden spoon, then knead it with my hands until it holds together.) It's a fairly dry dough.
Form the dough into cylinders about 2 inches in diameter, and wrap them in waxed paper.
Chill the dough for at least a couple of hours. (You can freeze it at this point if you want to.)
Once the dough has chilled, cut it into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
Place the cookie dough slices about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies on the middle rack of a 350F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, turning the pans halfway through the cooking time.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
Once the cookies have cooled, make the filling.
Begin by beating 1/2 cup butter until it's quite soft.
Add in about 2 cups of sifted icing (confectioners) sugar and the milk.
Beat until the sugar is completely incorporated and then continue adding sifted sugar until the buttercream is the sweetness and consistency you prefer.
(I haven't given you a specific quantity for the sugar because I find that people's tastes vary greatly.)
Once the buttercream is the sweetness and consistency you prefer, begin assembling the cookie sandwiches. Turn one cookie bottom-side-up and spread on a fairly generous amount of filling. Top with a second cookie, bottom-side-down , so that the tops of both cookies are facing outward.
Allow the cookies to sit on your work surface for a while so that the buttercream can set up, then store them in an airtight container.