Christmas rooibos gingerbread sandwich cookies

"Mistletoe," said Luna dreamily, pointing at a large clump of white berries placed almost over Harry's head. He jumped out from under it. 
"Good thinking," said Luna seriously. "It's often infested with nargles." 

- Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix

I present to you these really dangerous christmas cookies. They look innocent but they consist of a lot of ingredients which are entirely edible by itself. So you might find yourself covered in marshmallow meringue, licking that knife with caramel spread, eating those broken cookies, or that candy cane that you reserved for yourself, all while making these gingerbread sandwich cookies. By the time they're finished, there's a good chance you don't want to have any, but they look so good, so you still have four or so and an hour later you are lying on the couch, wishing you would have been wiser. No that's a joke, but the temptation is real. So be careful. ;-)

These rooibos gingerbread cookies are perfect for Christmas morning, accompanied by a cup of coffee or tea. Also included, the 'recipe' for my homemade vanilla extract. This is the last recipe in my holiday giving guide series. 

Find the two previous recipes here:
Pear & chocolate winter granola
Chai spiced nut butter

Notes on the recipe:

- I used a store-bought caramel spread, at Chocolatl in Amsterdam. Really worth visiting when in the city. But if you don't live here or can't find good quality, without weird ingredients your grandmother wouldn't recognize, you can easily make a sauce yourself. For example this one. I bet it's delicious.
- The cookies are refined-sugar free and come out very soft. Don't worry about this, they will firm up once they've cooled off.

The beautiful linen table cloth & napkin are provided by my favorite textile brand: By Mölle. The two small bowls can be found at Dille & Kamille

Christmas rooibos gingerbread sandwich cookies with caramel & marshmallow meringue frosting

(makes 10-12)

You need:

2 1/2 cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
125 gram/ 1 stick + 1 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
rooibos, one bag
1 tsp vanilla extract
Caramel spread
Candy cane, crushed w/a rolling pin

For the frosting

4 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

How to make it:

1. Place the butter, sugar, maple syrup, and rooibos leaves in a bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until pale and creamy. Add the ginger and mix for another minute.

2. Add the flour and baking soda to the bowl and beat until the mixture comes together and forms a smooth dough. 

3. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. It should be about 4 mm or 0,15 inch thick. Refrigerate for half an hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured surface. Create discs with a cookie cutter. Re-roll dough if necessary. Place the discs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool completely. This won't need much time.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the meringue. Bring a pan with water to a boil. Add the ingredients to a heat-proof bowl and place on top of the pan. With a hand mixer, beat for 4 minutes, or until the egg whites are warm to the touch. You can check this by using your fingertips

7. Transfer the bowl to your countertop and continue to beat for another 1 or 2 minutes, on low-speed. Then increase the speed and mix for 6 minutes, until thick, shiny and it forms stiff peaks. Add the meringue to pastry bag.

8. Flip around half of the cookies and drop a teaspoon of caramel in the middle of each. Spread slightly. Continue to pipe the frosting on top of the caramel (the meringue should be macaron sized). 

9. Place the remaining cookies on top of the 'filled' ones. Press carefully and you'll see the meringue spreading.

10. Sprinkle the sides with the crushed candy cane. Enjoy!

Vanilla extract

You need:

350 ml high quality vodka
6 vanilla pods, cut in half lengthwise. 


How to make it:

Pour the vodka in a clean swing top bottle. Add the vanilla pods. Close. Give it a shake once a week. After 5-6 weeks, when it has a nice amber color, your vanilla extract is ready to use. Enjoy it. It is magical. 


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