Updated: May 30, 2021
I am proud of these. It’s taken a lot of tries but I’m happy to sacrifice my waistline for culinary perfection - and I reckon I've nailed it. This is a biscuit that will be mostly familiar to New Zealanders and maybe other antipodeans. It's similar to the American 'whoopie pie' and sponge kisses, but it's definitely something I've missed from home since I've been living in the UK. The biscuit is a fluffy ginger sponge, gloriously gingery and light, and the buttercream is laced with honey and ginger - which seems, even though they're not present in the buttercream of the commercial version, to emulate the taste brilliantly.
Makes 12 rather large kisses or 24-36 little ones
You need two baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper
2 cups/260g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp baking soda
¾ cup/160g caster sugar
110g salted butter, melted
¼ cup/90g golden syrup
1 large egg
¼ cup/65 g plain yoghurt (not the really thick Greek or set type. Or you can use buttermilk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
260g salted butter
6 Tbsp/50g icing sugar
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp ground ginger
Sift the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger and baking soda together in a medium bowl and then whisk a little so it's evenly mixed. Set aside.
Beat the sugar, melted butter and golden syrup in a separate large bowl (with electric beater or whisk) until combined. Beat in the egg, yoghurt and vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter/egg mix and and fold the mixture with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the batter just comes together - don't overmix! (make sure there are no little pockets of flour in there). Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours).
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick reusable mat. Roll the batter into balls using 1 scant tablespoon (for large) OR 1 scant teaspoon (for small) of mixture. Space the balls evenly on the prepared baking sheets, about 5 cm apart.
Bake the kisses, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and just set (though uniformly golden), around 8-12 minutes. Let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before filling.
When they're on the tray, pair them up to the closest in size and and place them, flat-side together, back on to the tray. I find it much quicker to fill them when I've done this already!
To make the buttercream, beat all the ingredients with an electric beater or in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, until pale and fluffy. If it's a bit too soft, pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes before using.
Spoon or pipe (I just use a piping bag with a coupler but no nozzle) a good swirl of buttercream evenly onto the bottom halves of each pair of the 'cookies'. Gently place the top halves on to the buttercream, pressing down only until the cream reaches the edges!
Store the ginger kisses in an airtight container in the refrigerator with baking paper between layers. Bring to room temperature before serving and lightly dust with icing sugar if you wish!
These are so satisfying to make - so close to the commercial version but so much better, with no extra weird ingredients to improve their shelf life.
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