Chocolate & Walnut Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Banana Cream Filling

There are some things that sound strange, but in all actuality are  just plain awesome.

Like chocolate matched with ginger… I could see where some people might be mildly weirded-out by  having fresh spicy ginger all up in their chocolate. But trust me, everything about that combination is so right. I’m so sure about it.

On the other hand, I’ve been approached multiple times this week by different people talking about how much they enjoy following me on Twitter… someone actually said that I should be a professional Tweeter. That’s great and all, and of course I genuinely appreciate positive feedback on my random 40 character spoutings into the social media universe, but it seems a sorta strange compliment. I guess the strangest part being that pro-Tweeters are actually a thing now. For those of us who remember what an epic deal it was when our family first purchased a Windows desktop computer, giving us the capacity to play solitaire without ever breaking out a real deck of cards, this social media explosion is somewhat bizarre.

Receiving props for tactful Tweeting on numerous occasions recently has my brain stuck on how ingrained social media has become into our daily living. If someone were to take a look at your Facebook/Twitter/Instragram right now, they could very likely know your gender, age, relationship status, education history, where you live, what you’re doing today, what you’re eating today, what music you’re listening to today…that’s creepy. Yet by the same token, we love it. There’s a distinct appeal that accompanies instantaneous “personal” connections, sharing telling details of our day-to-day with any and everyone, having a constant audience of sorts. I get that this isn’t some profound epiphany or anything, but  that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a smack in the face when you take two seconds to notice how often you’re actually turning to the smart phone to forever solidify some mundane moment into a digital archive.

Like last night, before even lifting a fork, I was compelled to snap a shot of my dinner to Instagram it so that everyone who happened to see could legitimize that my turkey and chorizo burger on a freshly baked bun with Cuban-style black beans and rainbow slaw looked as delicious as I was certain it  would taste. Then I thought to myself…

Really Darcy? This is a pleasant meal you’re sharing with you boyfriend, why you trying to invite all of your “friends” and “followers” up in here?

I don’t know. It’s kind of a viceversa-type scenario from chocolate and ginger cookies– where they seem strange, but are really awesome, the rapidly increasing invasiveness of social media seems awesome, but is really strange. What’s more strange is that most people don’t seem to notice how strange it really is. But hey, what can ya do?

Barrage the internet with visions of sandwich cookies, I guess.

Chocolate and Walnut Ginger Sandwich Cookies with Banana Cream Filling

For the Cookies:
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 Tbsp orange marmalade
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 3/4 cups ap flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the banana cream filling

  • 1 large, very ripe banana
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 2-3 cups confectioners sugar

In a microwave safe dish, whisk together the orange marmalade and brown sugar, stir in the walnut pieces. Microwave on medium head for 1 minute, stirring after 3o seconds; set aside. Either in the microwave or in a double boiler over the stove, carefully melt the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the walnuts and stir to coat. Spread the chocolate nut mixture in an even layer over a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer to harden as you prepare the cookie dough.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy and light, 3-4 minutes. Beat in the light and dark brown sugars. Then, add the egg and beat until just combined. Mix in the molasses, vanilla and orange juice.

Remove the hardened chocolate nut bark from the freezer and break into very small pieces, stir these into the cookie dough by hand. Refrigerate the dough for 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place the granulated sugar in a shallow dish. Scoop the cookie dough out by tablespoon and roll each in the granulated sugar, then space two inches apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Place the banana in a microwave save dish and heat for 30-45 seconds. Mash the banana with the back of a fork, set to the side. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the banana until thoroughly combined. Next, add the vanilla and heavy cream. Beat in the confectioners sugar by 1/2 cup until the filling reaches a thick, creamy consistency, Sandwich 1-2 Tablespoons of the filling between two of the cookies. Store refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to a week.

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