Scaled-down treats full of flavour!
These old fashioned chewy ginger cookies are my go-to cookie recipe. While they are awesome on their own, squishing a layer of salted caramel frosting between two miniature-sized cookies makes for an even more delicious treat. You could use any storebought vanilla or cream cheese frosting instead, but the salted caramel frosting (see below) really is spectacular. The cookies can be made ahead and frozen until you are ready to assemble them; the icing can also be made ahead. Once you’ve built your little cookie sandwiches, they are best if consumed within 24 hours, although how you’d last that long without eating them is a complete mystery to me!
To create these little treats, prepare the small cookies first:
- Use this recipe to mix up the cookie dough.
- Make small doughballs about the size of a rounded half-teaspoon, roll them in granulated sugar and place them an inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350F just until they have started to flatten and are beginning to crack on the top (5 – 6 minutes).
- Let cool completely before filling with frosting (see below) or freeze cookies for later assembly.
- Store filled cookies in an airtight container.
Salted Caramel Frosting
Vastly superior to vanilla frosting in terms of its flavour, whipping this salted caramel frosting makes it lighter and fluffier.
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) water
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) whipping (heavy or 35%) cream
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) unsalted butter, softened but not melted
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) good quality salt (fine, not coarse)
- 1 cup (250 mL) icing (powdered) sugar
- Put granulated sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Gently swirl the pan once or twice during this time to ensure even cooking.
- Watch the mixture carefully to be sure it doesn’t burn. As the water evaporates, you may briefly see some the sugar become very hard and crystallized sugar; in just a few moments this will melt and very quickly turn dark amber in colour.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. It may foam up a little.
- Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
- Put butter and salt in a medium bowl; beat with an electric mixer medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Turn off mixer. Add powdered sugar then mix on medium-low speed until well blended.
- Turn mixer off again and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Pour in caramel mixture then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and well blended (about 2 minutes).
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes, to give it time to thicken slightly.
- If not using immediately transfer to a smaller container with a tight lid and refrigerate for up to seven days.
Makes enough to frost lots of cookies, or a 2-layer cake or about 24 cupcakes.