Ginger-Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Ginger Cookies with Lemon Curd

by Abby Dodge on December 12, 2010

I’m a big-time fan of ginger: fresh, ground, crystallized, you name it and I’ll use it. So it stands to reason that I have a ginger cookie for every season, right? Right. Well, we all know that molasses pairs well with ginger and makes for irresistible, chewy cookies but for me, the flavor is too heavy and dense for summer. So, with my molasses jar happily hibernating in the pantry, I turn to ground ginger and my personal fave crystallized ginger to accent this lovely, refreshing summer cookie.

I’d love to tell you that there’s a sweet, endearing story behind this cookie. You know, like how I remember my grandmother making these for Sunday afternoon tea at her summer cottage in Connecticut. How she’d set out a plate of these guys along with big, cold pitcher of her minted iced tea on the linen covered table on her screened porch…okay, so maybe I can’t tell you that remembrance is entirely accurate (the cookies were chocolate chippers; drink was icy cold Coke; the screened porch? Mom’s) but I can tell you with confidence that these lemon curd-filled cookies are light, refreshing and go perfectly with my tea (hot or iced). The sugar-crunch exterior gives way to a tender crumb studded with zesty bits of ginger and each bite explodes with the creamy, sweet-tart lemon curd.. good stuff. Such good stuff, in fact, that you and your family will quickly build your own summer memories around this easy-to-make gem of a cookie.

Worth Noting:

*I’m test-driving a new style for listing ingredients – listing the ingredient first and then the amount. This way, you’ll know at first glance if you have all the ingredients you’ll need to make the cookie. I employed this same style in Desserts 4 Today and I’m wondering if it works for slightly longer ingredient lists. I’d appreciate any and all feedback. Until I’m certain which style works best for these longer listings (It’s fab for 4 ingredients/D4T), I’ll continue to bounce between my traditional one and this D4T one.

* I’ve included a new section that I call “Switch-Ins”. Like in Desserts 4 Today, this section offers flavor variations for the cookie as well as the filling. This way, if you aren’t as crazy for ginger and or lemon curd as I clearly am, you can substitute – “Switch – In” – other ingredients to flavor the cookie to suit your taste buds.

Tips 4 Success:

* Mixer? This cookie dough can be mixed together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or Beater Blade (my personal fave) or you can use a hand-held mixer.

* Cutting crystallized ginger: Stack a few ginger discs or pieces on a cutting board. Lightly coat both sides the knife’s blade with neutral-flavored oil (veg or canola) or a quick spray of Pam and start chopping. Depending on how much you are chopping, you might need to re-apply the oil.

*Ziploc for curd: For easy storing and cookie filling, I stow my curd in a Ziploc bag. Once the curd is cooled, arrange a small, heavy-duty Ziploc in a coffee mug or glass so that one bottom corner is at the bottom and the tops are folded over the top of the mug/ glass forming a cuff. Scrap the curd into the bottom corner of the bag and lift the bag from the mug/glass and lay on the counter. Using your fingers, push the curd into the corner, press out all the air from the bag and zip it closed. The curd can be kept in the fridge or freezer. When you’re ready to fill the cookies, simply snip off a small bit (about 1/3-inch) of the corner where the curd is and pipe into the cookie ‘thumbprints’.