Yield: 16 gingerbread sandwich cookies // Total Time: 2 hr. 45 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Soft and chewy spiced gingerbread cookies filled with a rich and creamy ermine frosting.
gingerbread sandwich cookies
These are the most adorable cookies to add to your holiday cookie boxes this year! The cookies themselves are soft and chewy, and are perfectly spiced. They’re filled with an ermine frosting, which is super rich and creamy and honestly might be my favorite type of frosting. The cookies themselves are super easy to make and can even be made ahead of time to be baked off and filled at a later date. So let’s get to it!
what is ermine frosting?
If you haven’t heard of it – it’s also called “boiled milk frosting.” It’s made by cooking milk, sugar, salt, and flour together on the stove – and then beating that mixture into butter. It might sound a little weird, but it’s super delicious, easy, and not as overly sweet as standard American buttercream.
weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient which can turn your brownies from rich and fudgy to tough and chewy. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. If you have ever had your batter look curdled, it is most likely due to the ingredients separating from being at different temperatures. Take out the eggs and butter at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. To get an egg to room temperature quickly, you can run it under hot water for 1 minute. To get butter to room temperature quickly, you can slice it into 1 tbsp. slices and lay the pieces flat on a plate, then microwave in 5 second intervals until they are soft to the touch.
don’t over-beat the butter
We’re going to beat some softened butter and sugar together at the start of the cookie recipe. Be sure that you are only beating them together until they are cohesive. Over-beating the mixture will incorporate more air into the dough, which will make these cookies more puffy rather than flat.
under bake for perfect cookies
Cookies have a nice habit of looking underdone when in reality it’s the perfect time to pull them out of the oven. They will continue to bake on the hot cookie sheet. These cookies are a bit difficult to tell when they are done because they don’t spread or brown. Essentially, they should still be a little soft if you (carefully!) touch them right out of the oven.
freeze the cookie dough
A great way to keep your cookies from spreading too much in the oven is to freeze them prior to baking. After cutting out the cookies, transfer them to your lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before baking.
ingredients and substitutions
For the gingerbread cookie dough:
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.
Salt: to help balance and bring out the sweetness of the cookies
Baking soda: for helping the cookies rise.
Unsalted butter: for tenderness and flavor. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the cookies.
Dark brown sugar: for flavor and sweetness. I highly recommend dark brown sugar since it contains more molasses flavor, but light brown sugar will work here as well.
Molasses: it wouldn’t be a classic gingerbread recipe without molasses! Make sure you are using unsulphured molasses.
Egg: for binding and for moisture.
Vanilla: for flavor.
Ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice: for the gingerbread spice.
For the ermine frosting:
Granulated sugar: for sweetness.
All purpose flour: for thickening the mixture for the ermine frosting.
Salt: for flavor – never skip on the salt!
Whole milk: the base of the ‘pudding’ mixture for the ermine frosting.
Unsalted butter: the base of the frosting. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the extra salt.
Vanilla: for flavor.
how to make gingerbread sandwich cookies
Here’s a little look into the process of making these cookies. The full recipe can be found at the bottom of this blog post!
- Roll out the cookie dough on a clean, generously floured surface.
- Cut out the gingerbread men, and cut out little hearts in half of the cookies.
- Bake the cookies, then pipe the filling onto the half that don’t have a heart cut out.
- Sandwich the cookies and enjoy!
gingerbread sandwich cookies q&a
can I make these cookies ahead of time?
You can definitely make the cookie dough ahead of time! Simply roll out the dough, stamp it, and when it’s time to place them in the freezer, you can just leave them like that overnight. If you want to make the dough even further in advance, transfer the cookies to an airtight container in the freezer once they have frozen on the baking sheet.
how to store gingerbread sandwich cookies?
Because these cookies are filled with a milk-based frosting, they need to be stored in the fridge. Store extra sandwich cookies in an airtight container in the fridge, where they will keep well for 1 week.
help! the dough is too sticky
The dough is a little sticky, but if after chilling the dough is way too sticky, it’s because there isn’t enough flour in it. Add in 1 tbsp. of flour until you’re able to form a cohesive dough that isn’t sticky.
why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale.
a note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature and aren’t always at the temperature they claim to be. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
did you make these gingerbread sandwich cookies?
If you made these gingerbread sandwich cookies I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies
- 125 g unsalted butter room temperature (9 tbsp.)
- 130 g unsulphered molasses (⅓ c. + 1 tbsp.)
- 150 g dark brown sugar (¾ c.)
- 1 egg room temperature
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 360 g all purpose flour (3 c.)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. ground allspice
- 150 g granulated sugar (¾ c.)
- 30 g all purpose flour (¼ c.)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 170 g whole milk (¾ c.)
- 170 g unsalted butter room temperature (¾ c.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, molasses, and dark brown sugar until just combined.
- Then, beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Beat the mixture together just until the last streak of flour disappears and the dough is cohesive.
- Pat the dough down into a rectangle, then cover tightly in plastic wrap. Let the dough chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- In the meantime, start making the ermine frosting.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Turn the heat on to medium and slowly whisk in the milk.
- Continuously whisk the mixture together until it thickens to pudding-like consistency.
- Transfer the mixture to a heat-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave the mixture in the fridge to chill until the cookies are done baking. Remove the butter from the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Take out the chilled cookie dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out until it is ¼" thick, then use a gingerbread cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.
- Re-roll and repeat until you have used up the cookie dough. [Note: I got 32 cookies from this which equates to 16 sandwich cookies. You may make more or less depending on your cookie cutter size!]
- Transfer the cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about ½" between each cookie.
- Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to stamp out a heart in the center of half of the cookies.
- Place the tray of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉ / 175℃. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. While the cookies come to room temperature, finish making the ermine frosting.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it's light and fluffy.
- While the mixer is running, add in the milk mixture one heaping tablespoon at a time, allowing it to fully combine with the butter before adding in more. Repeat until you have used up all of the mixture.
- Add in the vanilla, and beat until well combined.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with your tip of choice. Pipe the filling onto the under-side of the cookies that don't have a heart cut out, then top each cookie with one that does. Serve and enjoy!