Spiced Ginger Sandwich Biscuits
These spiced ginger sandwich biscuits are an amalgamation of ideas. I’ve been making spiced biscuits for Christmas for a few years now, alongside traditional gingerbread, then last year I was given a jar of ginger curd. The warming flavour of fresh ginger in a smooth, creamy curd is delicious and it gave me the idea of a Christmas jammy dodger. As the curd is quite strong, I made a vanilla buttercream to surround the curd for the filling between the two sandwiched biscuits. A pair of spiced ginger sandwich biscuits make a great homemade gift, presented in cellophane or wrapped in wax paper.
You could just use a small circle cutter to cut out the dodger hole to reveal the ginger curd within. However, as it’s Christmas, I’ve used mini Christmas tree and star cutters. I have a set of Kitchen Craft fondant cutters that work perfectly for this, but you could use any shape you like.
Spiced Ginger Sandwich Biscuits Recipe
425g plain flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground mixed spice
220g unsalted butter, softened
200g fairtrade caster sugar
1 large free-range egg
1/2 orange zest (or 1 clementine)
100g unsalted butter, softened
180g fairtrade icing sugar
1tsp fairtrade vanilla bean paste
250g ginger curd
1 Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line two large baking trays (if you have four you can prepare a second batch of two trays whilst the first are in the oven).
2 Sift the flour into a small bowl and stir in the cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy. A hand mixer is ideal here but a wooden spoon will do. Crack in the egg and beat to combine. Fold in the flour in two batches, adding the orange zest in between.
3 Divide the biscuit dough into three to make it easier to manage. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin, then cut out the biscuits with a 6cm circle cutter. Cut out a central 2–3cm circle, star or christmas tree from half of the biscuits. Gather up any trimmings of dough and re-roll them. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared trays using a palette knife and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden around the edge. Whilst baking, repeat with the remaining biscuit dough. Place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool completely.
4 Beat the butter with a hand mixer for several minutes until pale and fluffy then sift in the icing sugar. Stir gently at first to incorporate the icing sugar then beat on high for 30 seconds until fully combined. Mix in the vanilla bean paste. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and snip the end to create a 1cm hole.
5 Pipe a ring of buttercream onto the underneath of a whole biscuit, a little in from the edge. Spoon a little ginger curd into the middle of the ring. Sandwich a biscuit with a cut-out centre on top, pressing down gently until the buttercream reaches the edge of the biscuits to secure. Repeat with the remaining biscuits.