If you’ve been following this series for a while, you’ll know that a couple months ago, my folks bought a HUGE bag of frozen blueberries. It was the only size they had, and took up so much room in the freezer that I made a bunch of muffins and cakes in order to use it up. I’m happy to report that the bag has dwindled and I’m left with a small, manageable amount which I’m still trying to get rid of. In my browsing for recipes, I came across one for Ginger Molasses Cookies with Blueberry Filling from King Arthur Baking. I skipped it because it wasn’t reviewed at the time, and so I didn’t really have a basis on whether or not it was good. That’s a good lesson for anyone looking for recipes- check the reviews and comments. If you have ten people saying that it didn’t work for them, regardless of how lucky you are, the recipe probably won’t work for you either. KAB ended up posting this on their Instagram weeks after I found it, and it had a lot more positive feedback, so it just felt like the right time to give it a try.
The recipe starts off by making the ginger cookies. In a large bowl, I mixed together the butter, brown sugar, spices, salt and baking soda until smooth. The spices are really what make this flavor great, so try not to leave any out if you can help it. Next comes the egg, followed by the molasses. If you’ve never tried molasses- don’t. It’s pretty intense and bitter- at least the brand that I used- and not something you want to eat on its own. Mix the dough until smooth, then add in the flour and continue to mix until well combined. I omitted the crystalized ginger because frankly I’ve never seen it on the shelves here. Really, the cookies were fine without them. Let the dough chill for about an hour in the fridge. I then went on to make the blueberry filling. KAB gives you instructions on how to make it from fresh / frozen blueberries (the original calls for freeze-dried) but I just couldn’t see how it would work. It said to simply puree the blueberries with powdered sugar, but I worried that it would be too runny. I ended up cooking the pureed blueberries with granulated sugar until thick, and then added in some cornstarch in order to make a thick paste. Whenever you’re making a frosting (which essentially this is), the last thing you want to do is add more liquid as it ruins the consistency. The mixture thickened up nicely, and I let it cool for a few minutes while I prepared the rest. I whipped up the cream cheese, butter and lemon juice until smooth, then added in the blueberry paste and just enough powdered sugar to get a thick consistency. I’ll talk more on that later. Once your cookies have chilled, roll them into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then, grease the bottom of a glass with nonstick spray, dip it in granulated sugar and press down each of the balls to get flattened cookie discs. Bake that for about 14 minutes and then let them cool completely. Pipe or spoon on your filling, then top off the cookie with another similarly sized one to make a little sandwich.
I’ll be honest, I was kind of underwhelmed by these. The flavor was great- with the ginger and blueberry actually making a good combo- but overall it wasn’t something I was blown away by. The cookie texture didn’t seem like the photos- as mine were a bit harder and not quite as chewy and soft as I hoped. It may be an issue with the quantities, or maybe the dough doesn’t have to chill after all. I make another gingerbread-type cookie for the holidays, so perhaps I could make a swap, as that has more of a texture that I like. The filling was really good, with a strong blueberry flavor- likely because I’d cooked it down in order to concentrate it. Don’t skip the lemon as it really brings out that berry flavor. KAB loves to include their own products in recipes like ClearJel or some of the other mix-ins they offer- which I totally get, I mean they are a business. But it gets pretty tough trying to find substitutes because I don’t frequently shop their stores. Still, I did enjoy this, even though it’s not something I can see myself making again.
Full Recipe | Method from King Arthur Baking