The warm spice flavors of these soft gingerbread cookies pair perfectly with the tart, slightly sweet cranberry cream filling. Top them with a delicate dusting of powdered sugar for a beautiful and festive holiday cookie!
Cranberry cream filling:
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
Cranberry cream filling:
- In a small pot, combine cranberries, sugar and water, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to low, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until it’s thickened with a jam-like consistency. Stir frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from heat, stir in mascarpone/cream cheese and vanilla extract and set aside to cool.
- In a stand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla on high speed until combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
- Add dry mixture to the mixer with butter mixture and beat on medium speed until completely combined. It will go through different stages of seeming far too dry, then a very small crumb, then a larger crumb, and then it will form into a dough. Just give it time!
- Use your hands to form the dough into a ball, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets nonstick silicon mats or parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove dough from fridge and let it warm up a bit on the counter for about 15 minutes before you start working with it to avoid it cracking.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out your dough with a rolling pin to about 1/4″ thickness.
- Use your cookie cutter of choice to cut out cookies and place half of them on baking sheets about 1″ apart.
- You’ll want to cut out the centers of the remaining half of the cookies with a smaller cookie cutter of choice, or you can cut out shapes with a pairing knife (like I did for the ones in the pictures).
- Bake for for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set, but not yet turned golden. They should still feel a bit soft, you don’t want to overbake them.
- Let cool on baking sheets for 15 minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.
- Use a mesh sieve or flour sifter to dust the cookies with the cutouts with powdered sugar.
- Place about a teaspoon (depending on the size of your cookies, you may want more) of cranberry cream on top of the uncut cookies and top each with a cut cookie. Serve and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature (as long as the room stays on the cooler side) for up to 4 days. They will start to soak up moisture from the cream over time so you should plan to consume them within a couple days of making them.