1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 tablespoons boiling water
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (seemed too skimpy, but maybe my ginger was old)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses until well blended. Dissolve the baking soda in boiling water; stir into the molasses mixture. Gradually mix in the flour to make a smooth dough. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut into circles using a 3 inch round cutter. Cut a smaller 1 inch circle out of half of the cookies. It is easier to cut the center hole after the cookies have been placed onto the cookie sheets. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until edges begin to darken. Allow cookies to cool completely before sandwiching. Frost solid cookies and place a cookie with the center hole on top. (At Christmas, we use holiday cookie cutters and don’t bother cutting the center out.)

To make the frosting: Beat 1 tablespoon of butter and water together. Blend in the ginger and salt. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Sandwich between cooled cookies.

Update, Christmas 2005: We tried this with lemon frosting, and it was even more popular than the ginger. I used lemon juice instead of water, then added 1/2 tsp of grated lemon rind and 1/2 tsp of lemon extract instead of the ginger and salt. The frosting gets hard enough that you don’t even have to sandwich them, you can just frost a single cookie.