Hey October, didn’t see ya there! There is a definite chill in the air here in Seattle and I’m not mad about it. My winter coat has come out of hibernation, my AC unit and accompanying fans have been tucked away for the season, and I am in full fall mode. And I’m not just talking pumpkin spice, though, of course, it has its place. But I love to explore different ways to celebrate the season. Enter these pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself) Orange and Ginger Harvest Moon Phase Cookies. They are perfect for Halloween and celebrating the dark, moody days of autumn.
With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share a treat that’s very autumnal, yet a little more grown up than your typical monster-themed goody. The spicy, fresh ginger and bright and sweet orange zest perfume these little sugar cookies that sandwich rich, dark chocolate ganache. And the fun part: the cookies have little cutouts that represent the different moon phases! I used a paring knife and cut the designs freehand, but you could also use cookie cutters (see the ones linked at the end of the post) if that’s more your vibe. You could even just create solid tops and bottoms and skip the cutout part if you want or experiment with different shapes. Have fun with them!
Orange and Ginger Harvest Moon Phase Cookies Recipe
Ingredients (makes about 30 sandwich cookies)
- 1 c unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 c granulated sugar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 T orange zest, freshly grated
- 1 t fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 3 c all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out cookies
- ½ t kosher salt
- 8 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 4 oz heavy cream
- pinch of salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until fluffy, about one minute. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat again to incorporate. Next, add the orange zest and ginger and mix again to incorporate. After that, pour in the flour and salt and mix again until just combined. Pat the dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least two hours, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll dough out into ¼ inch thickness. Then, cut out circles using a glass or 2 inch biscuit cutter. Re-roll scraps and repeat until all the dough is gone. Keep half the circles as the bottoms and for the other half, use a paring knife to cut out various moon phase shapes, being sure to leave about a ¼ inch border around all sides. Next, working in batches, place all cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheets about an inch apart. Freeze for about 20 minutes, or until frozen solid. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until lightly brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
When all the cookies have baked, make the ganache. Add a large heat-proof bowl over a small pot filled with a few inches of water set over medium heat. Add the chopped chocolate, cream, and salt to the bowl and stir occasionally until melted, being sure to keep the water just barely simmering, but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken for about 10-15 minutes. Using an offset spatula, spread about a teaspoon of ganache onto the bottom of a cookie and top with a top cookie. Repeat until all cookies are assembled.
These adorable little treats are perfect for bringing to a Halloween party, fall dinner party, or even just wrapping up in little gift bags and giving them as gifts!
Looking for even more sweet treat recipes? Check out these:
- Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Tart
- Blackberry Thyme Creme Brulee
- Easy Strawberry Almond Overnight French Toast
- Tahini Frangipani Apple Galette with Salted Honey Rose Cream
- Lavender Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
- Ultimate Funfetti Birthday Pop Tarts