Every year I bake gingerbread and I have finally, finally found a recipe that I am in love with.
I love the smell of baking gingerbread. It's like Christmas Eve and tree-trimming and the North Pole and cinnamon-sugar and watching White Christmas in front of a fireplace and magic all at once. Yes, all that.
I like my cookies soft and plump, as close to the consistency of cookie dough or cake as possible, and most gingerbread recipes I've tried come out crisp and thin. Even my gingersnaps.
These are perfect and delicious. The solution? I'm not sure. Maybe the frosting.
I love everything about these cookies. The mini M&Ms, the sugary green frosting, the cute Christmas tree shapes... and how pillowy soft they are. Not too soft to make frosting impossible, but no usual gingerbready crunch when you bite into them. Sigh. Perfection.Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Buttery Decorator Frosting (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, ginger, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut with a floured 3-inch tree-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Gently press mini M&Ms into half of the cookies.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
When cool, make frosting and tint green if desired. Spread over the bottoms of plain cookies; top with decorated cookies. Store in the refrigerator.
Makes 24 cookie sandwiches.
Source: Taste of Home: Simple & Delicious, November/December 2009
Buttery Decorator Icing
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl. Add 2 tablespoons milk; beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add additional milk for desired spreading consistency.
Source: Pillsbury Fall Baking, #93