Maple-Ginger Cookies:

1 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine

2 Tablespoons Vegan "Cream Cheese"

1/2 Cup Maple Sugar

1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed

1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

1 Teaspoon Maple Extract, Optional

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch

Ginger Creme Filling:

1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine

2 - 3 Cups Confectioner's Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

In your stand mixer, cream together the margarine, "cream cheese," maple sugar and brown sugar, until softened and smooth. Add in the maple syrup, extract, and salt, and beat on a low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula before proceeding, to make sure that everything is being incorporated.

In a separate bowl, sift together the ginger, flour, and starch, before adding the mixture slowly into the bowl of the stand mixer. Slowly mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until you achieve a smooth, cohesive dough. Scrape it out and cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough thoroughly until firm; at least 2 hours.

Ounce chilled, preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Cut your dough in half, and on a lightly floured surface, roll one half out to about 1/8 inch in thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes of any sort, but try to keep them on the smaller side. My maple leaves were just about an inch wide. Use a thin metal spatula to remove the cut shapes and transfer them to your prepared baking sheets, to prevent tearing or mushing. Be gentle, because it is a very soft dough. If you have trouble removing them from the counter, place a frozen metal cookie sheet over the whole length of dough, and allow the dough to cool down and become firmer before trying to move the cookies again.

Place your sheet of cut but unbaked cookies in the freezer for just 15 minutes before sliding it into the oven, to make sure they all hold their shape. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until the edges are just barely golden. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for about 15 minutes before transferring them to wire racks. Repeat with the remaining half of dough, and re-roll scraps and repeat once more.

For the filling, once the cookies are completely cool, begin by beating the margarine in your stand mixer to soften. Add in the first 2 cups of confectioner's sugar, along with the spices, vanilla, and maple syrup. Mix on low speed until the sugar is mostly incorporated, and then turn it up to high, whipping the mixture for 3 - 5 minutes until light and fluffy. If it still seems too loose to you, add in the remaining cup of confectioner's sugar, and whip on high again. Spread on cookies and sandwich two together.

Yield depends on size of cookie cutters; Makes about 2 Dozen 1-Inch Sandwich Cookies

©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com