Make the cookies:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line three baking sheets with parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, slowly add the flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated, about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Put about 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Using your hands, roll teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in sugar and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookies slightly. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies feel dry to the touch and are beginning to firm up (they’ll still feel soft inside), 10 to 14 minutes. Cool completely on racks.
Make the lemon cream:
With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese and lemon zest in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to mix until smooth.
Assemble the cookies:
Drop about 1 tsp. of the lemon cream in the center of a cookie, top with another cookie, and gently press them. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
nutrition information (per serving):
per cookie, Calories
6, Fat Calories
50, Saturated Fat
1, Monounsaturated Fat
24, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips