Cookie Swap: Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

gingerbread cookies with icing

I love gingerbread. As I was making this recipe over the weekend, I started thinking about why, and could pinpoint a multitude of reasons. The Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread Men I would snack on at my grandmother’s house as a kid. The boxed mix of gingerbread I would make with my mom. The gingerbread houses we’d make in school each year, from kindergarten to fifth grade. While I don’t know exactly when the love affair began, I do know that I’ve always loved the peppery, lightly sweet, delightful crunch of a good gingerbread cookie.

So, when I decided to participate in a cookie recipe swap with a bunch of other fab bloggers (more on that in a second!), gingerbread was the first thing that came to mind. But I wanted to give it a little twist — something beyond the basic and expected gingerbread man. I love the way ginger and orange tastes together, so I came up with a gingerbread sandwich cookie (think of it like a holiday Oreo). The filling? A fresh, citrusy homemade orange buttercream frosting. The nice thing about this recipe is if you don’t want to make sandwich cookies, the gingerbread is awesome on its own; you could also use the frosting to decorate the cookies along with other items, like sprinkles or candied orange zest.

Today, ten bloggers (me included!) are sharing our favorite holiday cookie recipes, so if gingerbread isn’t your thing (um, what?), here are lots of other recipes you can bookmark. Happy baking!

Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes
Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide
Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis
Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest
Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast
Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen
Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made
Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel

And here’s my recipe for Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

gingerbread sandwich cookies - holiday cookie recipe

GINGERBREAD SANDWICH COOKIES WITH ORANGE BUTTERCREAM FILLING

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 35 sandwiches, or 50 regular cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoons coarse salt (I used sea salt)
1/2 cup (1 sticks or 1/4 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (see note)
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses (see note)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Orange Buttercream Filling

Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon orange juice
pinch of sea salt

For the cookies: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt until well combined. Set aside. In a separate large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar, until the sugar is well incorporated and the mixture has increased in volume (it’ll look much fluffier). Add in the egg, molasses, and vanilla extract, and continue beating until well combined.

With the mixer or your electric beaters on low, add in a third of the flour mixture, and slowly mix until just combined into the wet ingredients. If you are using a stand mixer, continue mixing on low and slowly add the remaining flower until the cookie dough just comes together. If you are using electric beaters, use a wooden spoon to incorporate the remaining flour in two more batches (this will take a little elbow grease; your reward is cookies!). Once the dough has come together, divide it into two, and shape it into flat disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When you’re ready to roll out the cookies, heat your oven to 350. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Roll out the first disk of dough; if you are making sandwiches, make them between 1/8 and 1/4 inch; if you’re making plain cookies, between 1/4 to a 1/2 inch is great. Using the cutter of your choice, cut the cookies out, and transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet. Gather up any scraps, then continue rolling out and cutting cookies until you have used all the dough. If you want to make all the cookies at once, repeat with the second disk of dough; however, this can be refrigerated for a few days if you’d rather save it.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes (10 minutes if the cookies are thinner; 12 for thicker). Remove from the oven and let cool. I don’t personally like to move the cookies to a rack, because when hot, I feel like this can easily warp their perfect shape. Once cool, the cookies can be served as is, or made into sandwiches!

For the filling: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well blended and very smooth, like frosting. Using a whisk and beating the mixture will increase the volume and airiness.

To assemble the cookies: Once the cookies are completely cool, dollop a small amount of the frosting directly into the center of a cookie. Do not spread it out. With another cookie half, lightly press down. The filling should smush out towards the side. To disperse it, lightly twist the cookies in opposite directions (this will help move the frosting around without you having to mess with a knife).

To store and serve: Keep the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They’ll keep longer in the fridge, but be sure to let them come back to room temperature (or close to it), so that the frosting is soft! Also note that when you first create the sandwiches, the cookies will be crisper. After letting them sit covered overnight, they’ll soften slightly, as the cookies will absorb some of the moisture in the frosting. If you like a crisper cookie, don’t make them ahead; if you like a softer, chewier cookie, do.

Recipe notes: If you don’t have dark brown sugar, or can’t find it in your store, you can make your own. I used light brown sugar and added 1 tbsp of molasses to it. Mix together in a separate bowl until the molasses is well incorporated. After all, brown sugar is just granulated sugar + molasses, so no need to spend extra money on dark brown sugar if you don’t want to! Also, a tip for working with molasses: coat your measuring instruments with oil or cooking spray before pouring molasses into them. This will ensure that the molasses slides right out of them, and you want have to wait so long for it to drip drip drip out. This tip works perfectly for anything viscous and sticky, like honey or corn syrup!

 

Holiday Cookie Swap!

Don’t forget, these lovely bloggers are all sharing their favorite holiday cookie recipe today too! Pin away:

Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes
Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide
Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis
Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest
Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast
Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen
Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made
Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel

 

26 comments

  1. […] Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream from vmac+cheese Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made   […]

    12 Dec 2013 |
  2. […] Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream from vmac+cheese Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel […]

    12 Dec 2013 |
  3. […] Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream from vmac+cheese Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel photo credit: libbyvision.com […]

    12 Dec 2013 |
  4. […] Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream from vmac+cheese Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel […]

    12 Dec 2013 |
  5. jillian said: replied:

    these look so good! great photos too :) xo jillian – cornflake dreams

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  6. […] Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Orange Buttercream from vmac+cheese Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel […]

    12 Dec 2013 |
  7. […] Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies from Vmac + Cheese Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread from House of Earnest Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel […]

    12 Dec 2013 |
  8. Meg said: replied:

    YUMMMY!!! You had me at ginger! :)

    http://happinessiscreating.com/

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  9. christin said: replied:

    stop it.

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  10. Jackie {York Avenue} said: replied:

    These look so good! Beautiful pictures too. I’ve never actually had gingerbread or gingerbread cookies in my life-guess I should try!

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  11. Liz {What Dress Code?} said: replied:

    So many delicious sounding cookies! I did a blogger cookie swap this year too and it’s such a fun way to try out new recipes!

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  12. Alyssa said: replied:

    These look delicious–almost like homemade oreos!

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  13. Monica {Cake & Lilies} said: replied:

    Drooling! These look amazing– your photography is always so spot-on, and I especially love these with the flowers in the background!
    xox

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  14. Tiffany @ Savor Home said: replied:

    I love gingerbread cookies, too! That frosting looks and sounds delish! I agree that your photography is always beautiful. Thanks again for hosting this. So fun!

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  15. Akaleistar said: replied:

    Love gingerbread cookies, and these look delicious!

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  16. Dana said: replied:

    Gingerbread is my favorite! These look so delicious :)

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  17. Lindsay @ Fleur de Sel said: replied:

    These look amazing Victoria! Matt is a sucker for all ginger flavored baked goods, so I know he will love these! Thanks again for organizing! xoxo

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  18. Nina said: replied:

    Those look so yummy!

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  19. thanks again for organizing this! So fun! And your recipe sounds ridiculous!

    12 Dec 2013 | Reply
  20. […] If you have more time and patience – gingerbread sandwich cookies via VMAC & Cheese […]

    13 Dec 2013 |
  21. Anne [A Squared] said: replied:

    So funny that you mentioned the Pepperidge Farm Ginger Men– I used to eat those at my Grandma’s (Oma’s) house too!

    13 Dec 2013 | Reply
  22. […] cookies with whipped mascarpone sound delicious ~ not to mention all of the other cookies shared in Victoria’s cookie […]

    13 Dec 2013 |
  23. […] Dipped Lemon Shortbread, House of Earnest  |  Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars, Take a Megabite  | Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies, Vmac & Cheese  |  Orange Walnut Macrons with Spiced Cream Cheese and Cranberry Filling, […]

    20 Dec 2013 |
  24. […] Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies from Vmac + Cheese Peppermint Bark Cookies from Lemon Stripes Molasses Crinkle Cookies from The Average Girl’s Guide Red Velvet Cookies from Savor Home Brown Butter Snickerdoodles from Clara Persis Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti from Cupcakes for Breakfast Almond Sugar Cookies from Lark & Linen Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Spiced Whipped Mascarpone from Julip Made Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Fleur de Sel […]

    22 Dec 2013 |

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *