Around this time last year, I discovered that lemon and gingerbread are quite the tasty combination. There’s something about the tangy citrus flavor that compliments the spiciness of the ginger perfectly. And while gingerbread men are pretty cute, so are cookie sandwiches (and they don’t require tedious icing).
Since I’d just made a batch of lemon curd, I decided to combine that with confectionery sugar to make the frosting. If you don’t have lemon curd on hand, any soft lemon frosting will do (just mix lemon juice, confectionery sugar, and a little bit of melted butter until the consistency is to your liking). I prefer my gingerbread soft, so this recipe will yield a chewy cookie . . . eventually. I’ve made these a few times and found that they come out of the oven more like snaps, then soften up after 24 hours. So if you too like your gingerbread soft, I would suggest making the cookies a day in advance, storing them in an airtight container, and frosting them the next day. (However, I find if frosted and eaten immediately, they taste surprisingly like animal crackers!)
Gingerbread & Lemon Cookie Sandwiches
(adapted from All Recipes)
yield: approx. 8 doz. 2-inch cookies; 4 doz. sandwiches
- 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ginger
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup of butter (1 ½ sticks), softened
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- ¼ cup of molasses
- 1 cup of lemon curd
- 1 cup of confectionery sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl, then beat in egg, water, and molasses. Sift in flour, spices, baking soda, and salt, and mix until well-combined.
Divide dough into two pieces. Roll one section out on a well-floured surface to a thickness of ¼ inch. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (They won’t spread too much, so you place them fairly close together.) Bake for 7 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and let rest on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the dough.
Frost the cookies once they’ve cooled, or wait 24 hours for them to soften up a bit. Combine lemon curd and confectionery sugar until a smooth frosting forms. Spoon a dollop of frosting onto one cookie, then smush another one on top. Tada, cookie sandwich!