It’s no secret that I adore baking. I don’t do it a lot because I just don’t have that much time to, but during the holidays I am all about creating festive desserts. My favorite holiday treats to whip up are cookies because they are great for so many different things, and they are perfect for gifting! I love edible gifts because they really show heart behind them, and I think it’s incredibly special to create something delicious for someone you care about. Since I love getting creative and making variations on my favorites, I thought I’d combine two of my holiday favorites into one: gingersnap cookies and creamy, rich, ooey gooey hazelnut spread. The result? Pure, sweet heaven!
If you are from the South, then you know we Southerners love vibrant recipes and decadent sweets. Living in South Carolina, I’m all too familiar with the soulful, rich dishes that the low country is famous for. We never show up to someone’s house during the holidays without some home cooked goodness, and time in the kitchen is time well spent. For us, food is something to be shared, recipes are passed down, and each generation takes those recipes, treasures them, and makes them with love. Back when I was in my twenties, my stepmother gave each of my sisters and I a hand bound book of her recipes, and it means so much more than any of the recipe books I have bought over the years. These cookies are a variation on an old family recipe that I grew up with, and my twist is adding the hazelnut middle. I will be passing all my recipes down to my children, and I hope they do the same!
I love ginger anything when it comes to holiday baking, but these? The mixture of these two strong flavors absolutely puts it over the top in tastiness! They go well together, and the softness of the gingerbread really meshes with the texture of hazelnut stuffing! If you aren’t a fan of hazelnut, other fillings could also be salted caramel, a maple and vanilla mixture, or something completely new!
These pillowy soft cookies are super fluffy yet sturdy, and they hold up well for transporting. This recipe makes around 20 cookies, but you can easily adjust for more or less (wait, who am I kidding, you wouldn’t want less!) Here is what you need:
- 3/4 cup softened butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 2 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- hazelnut spread, chocolate, caramel, or any other filling you would like
- granulated sugar for sprinkling
To make your cookies, first combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Next, mix butter, sugar, molasses and the egg in a large bowl.
Add in the dry ingredients slowly while mixing.
One thing I have learned through trial and error when baking is that quality ingredients are super important, and for things like cookies and cakes, the flour you use is at the top of that list. Without quality flour, your recipes will fall flat. I have tried a few different flours over the years, but my go-to brand has been Bob’s Red Mill for a while now. They have a few great varieties, but I almost always use their Organic Unbleached White Flour which is a high quality flour that isn’t enriched with any additives. It is the same high protein flour used by professional bakers, and it produces a great texture for light and airy baked goods. It’s incredibly versatile, and a must for your pantry!
Another option is their Gluten Free 1- to-1 Baking Flour, which is formulated for baked goods with great texture without requiring specialty ingredients or custom recipes. It includes sorghum flour, which helps give baked goods an almost wheat-like texture and aids in browning, which we all know is essential to the perfect cookie.
Continue mixing until everything is evenly blended. Your dough might get a little thick/stiff, but that’s what makes it stay so pillowy through baking!
Once that is finished, grab a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat and spray it with a little nonstick spray. Now, take little handfuls of dough (about 2 tbsp each) and roll them into balls. If you don’t want to stuff them, go ahead and put them on your baking sheet. If you do want to stuff them, take each individual ball and poke a finger in the middle, making a “bowl” shape. Spoon in a bit of your hazelnut spread (or squeeze in with a corner cut off of a zip top bag). You don’t want to add too much, so make sure none is spilling out. Next, just close up your ball by pressing both sids together. Once closed, roll it a few times to make it back into a ball, and then dip in some sugar. Place on your baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
When they come out, they will be light, fluffy little pillows of goodness!
Let them cool, and then serve!
If you are gifting, stack them up in a clear bag and tie with a ribbon.
If you want more amazing cookie inspiration, head over to the Bob’s Red Mill 50 States of Cookies page, where 49 other bloggers are sharing fabulous holiday cookie recipes inspired by their home states. You can also grab a coupon for Bob’s Red Mill here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.