Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fight holiday withdrawal! Gingerbread-champagne sandwich cookies

January is such a grey month of blech.  After all of the excitement of the string of holidays from Halloween, through Thanksgiving, and December, and New Year's, January always feels like such a let-down to me.  But, to perk up these short days that feel so ridiculously long and that have been giving me an early case of bad spring fever, I decided to bring back some of the tastes of the holidays.

Gingerbread-champagne sandwich cookies

And yes, the sandwich cookie craze continues.  I mean, what else are you supposed to do with leftover gingerbread men dough?

It was nice to have a bit of holiday-nostalgia with these cookies, and the combination of ginger and champagne just works so well.  I think I was on a ginger-champagne kick that weekend, since I also whipped up my ginger-champagne pancakes with poached pears a few days later.

These sandwich cookies were a bit different from the shortbread-based ones I've been whipping up lately in that the gingerbread is really more chewy than crunchy.  But, the textures were still nice!  I did make the mistake of over-filling these a bit, so they did turn out a little difficult to eat, but the mess was definitely worth it when you get the powerful taste of brut rose complimented by the spicy kick of the ginger.

Anyways, looking forward to this long weekend we've got coming up--maybe I can finally get some time to escape and stretch my winter-cramped legs.  :-)

Read on for recipe...

Gingerbread-Champagne Sandwich Cookies
Gingerbread recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking
(hence, you might have leftover dough, but this should get you at least 30 filled cookies)

for cookies:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tspn baking soda
1/4 tspn cloves
1/2 tspn cinnamon
3 tspn ground ginger
1 tspn salt
1/3 cup water
sprinkles, opt.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
1. Cream butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add in brown sugar and beat until combined.  Then add in molasses and beat again.
3. Add in flour, baking soda, spices, salt and beat to combine.
4. Add in 1/3 cup of water, stir to combine.
5. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or on a lightly floured board until about 1/4" thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes.  Add sprinkles, if desired.
6. Bake the cut dough on a silpat or piece of parchment paper for seven minutes, until light golden in color.  Remove from oven and let cool.

for filling:
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 Tbspn brut rose (or champagne)
1 drop gel pink food coloring, opt.
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. Beat butter and shortening for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add brut rose and food coloring, if using and gradually mix in powdered sugar.
3. With mixer on high, beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Fill a pastry bag with the filling and pipe a small amount on a cookie. Sandwich the filling with another cookie and gently press down.  Refrigerate until firm.



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