I have to admit, I have a real weakness when it comes to these cookies. They’re good on their own, but once you add icing to make sandwiches, I’m a goner. For the photos here I’ve only completed three round cookies for the sake of the photography, but I actually make a quite a few different shapes, including stars, bells, gingerbread people, candy canes, etc. The rest of them are in the freezer, waiting for closer to Christmas to be decorated. For the first few years I made my own icing to go with them, and it was delicious. But this year I grabbed a $1 can of Betty Crocker icing, and it was equally scrumptious, with the added benefit of being able to ice them whenever you feel like having a cookie — resulting in very fresh icing.
You can leave the edges clean, or decorated them with sprinkles or broken candy cane pieces (which can be found at Bulk Barn).
This recipe is from my favourite cookie book by Better Homes and Gardens: “The Ultimate Cookie Book”
Spicy Ginger Rounds
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 eggwhite, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 recipe desired flavour buttercream icing
In a large bowl beat butter and shortening on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Beat until combined. Beat in whole egg and molasses. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Stir in any remianing flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours or until dough is easy to handle. I find this a bit overkill. If you flatten the dough a bit, it should only take an hour or two. Four hours and you’ve got to wait for it to thaw a bit before use.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease cookie sheets of line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. I use wax paper since I have it, and it’s fine.
On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 1 and a 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Combine egg white and water. Lightly brush top of each dough shape with mixture. I just use my finger to put on egg whites; I’m all about saving dishes.
Bake about 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms just begin to brown. I you over bake these they will get crunchy, which is difficult to eat with the icing. Let stand on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
Spread desired Buttercream Frosting onto the bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, bottom sides down. For a really festive look, try using a variety of sprinkles around the sides. These cookies freeze well, and though you can freeze them with the icing, I recommend icing before consumption. I always make a double batch because once you make sanwhiches out of them, there really aren’t that many.