Ginger & Lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies

Makes 10 cookie sandwiches
Adapted from Big, Fat Cookies

For the cookies:
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almonds, toasted and finely ground

For the lemon cream:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Sift the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon into a medium bowl and set aside.

In an electric mixer beat the butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Turn the mixer down to low and add in the lemon zest, vanilla and ground almonds. Mix in the flour mixture just incorporated and the dough holds together and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Divide the dough in half and form two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is cold and firm, at least 45 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the disks to about ¼ inch thick.  Use a round cookie cutter to cut out 3½-inch circles. Using a spatula, place cookie dough on prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart.   Repeat the process with the second piece of dough and any remaining scraps.  Cut a 1 inch circle out from the center of half of the cookies.  You can bake the small cut-outs along with the larger cookies (for snacks of course!).  Bake the cookies until the edges are light brown, 17-20 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the lemon cream:
Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth and fluffy – about 2-4 minutes.

To assemble the cookie sandwiches:
Spread 2 tablespoons of filling over the bottom side of each cookie without the hole. Top each one with one of the cookies with the holes.

To store:
Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  Before serving, bring cookies to room temperature.