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Instant Air Fryer Disney Inspired Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Sandwich Cookie

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Disney during the winter is one of my family’s favorite places to celebrate the holidays. The Magic of Disney they are always talking about is really alive and kicking during Christmas time. We still use the Mickey stockings my kids got the very first time we celebrated Christmas morning at the Disney Resort. They even monogramed their names on each one and filled them with all kinds of goodies. I promise, Santa doesn’t need a chimney to bring presents to a WDW Resort.

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**If you want to make this recipe in a standard oven, just increase the temp by 25 degrees and add 5 – 7 extra minutes.**

Along with the spectacular decorations, the themed costumes, the Holiday parade, and the fact that it’s Winter and you can still wear shorts, my all time favorite thing about Disney during the holidays is the specialty foods they bring out just for the season. Christmas Churros. Mickey Cinnamon Rolls. Holiday Mickey Cupcakes. And one of my favorites, the Karamell-Küche bakery’s Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Sandwich Cookie at Epcot (now I had this years ago during Christmas, but I have now learned that it isn’t seasonal, but available all year long…so yay!). Of course, living in NYC means that whether it’s only available a few times a month or all year long, I still can only dream about it. Until, now.

My family was supposed to visit Disney during 2020 but COVID ruined that plan. Instead, I decided to recreate some of our favorite Walt Disney World Park foods. Some of our favorites are my Copycat Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies and the CopyCat BBQ Pork Waffle Fries. Next on the list is WDW Gingerbread Salted Caramel Buttercream Sandwich Cookies of course. This recipe was a little harder though, since 1. I haven’t had one in a long time and 2. there really aren’t any recipes out there that I found come close to what I remember (a soft and chewy gingerbread cookie that has the crunch on the outside but is moist and soft on the inside, and a buttercream that is fluffy and a little more velvety than plain caramel, with just a hint of salt.) So, I got to work. I decided to go with a Gingerdoodle cookie, which is Gingerbread mixed with a Snickerdoodle. Even though it’s not as dark as the original, I really liked the flavor and the texture. As for the buttercream, I have made caramel numerous times, but it can be a finicky thing to make. I wanted to make it as easy as possible, so I decided to go with my Instant Pot Dulce de Leche and add that to a standard buttercream with and extra pinch of salt. I found that this way made the recipe so much easier, a lot less work, and tasted delicious!

Check out my video on another great Disney Copcat recipe, BBQ Pulled Pork Waffle Fries!

Instant Air Fryer Disney Inspired Gingerbread Cookie Sandwich

recipe by Lana Horruitiner-Perez based on WDW Gingerbread Sandwich Cookie

Cookie:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbl Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon for the batter and 1 tsp to roll before baking
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Fresh Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Sugar for the batter and 1/3 cup to roll before baking
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 1 large Egg
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Filling:

  • 4 heaping Tbl of my Instant Pot Dulce de Leche cooled in the fridge (you can also use store bought)
  • 1 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt or 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Equipment:

Baking tray for Omni/Omni Plus


In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 2 cups Flour, 1 Tbl Cornstarch, 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger, 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add 3/4 cup softened Butter, 3/4 cup Brown Sugar, and 1/4 cup Sugar. Turn the mixer on low speed then change to medium high and let the Butter and Sugar cream together until lighter in color and fluffy. (If you don’t own a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer, just be careful not to overmix on the last stage.)

Turn off the mixer and add 1/4 cup Molasses, 2 tsp Vanilla Extract, and 1 Egg. Mix on medium speed until well combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixer bowl and mix until combined and no white streaks remain. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between. Don’t overmix!

Once it’s done, use a spatula and scrape down the sides one last time.

Instant Omni Directions

Place the baking rack on the bottom “Bake” level of the Omni or your air fryer oven. Preheat to 300 degrees F on Air Fry for 10 mins. Press Start

**You may wonder why they are cooked on Air Fry mode and not Bake? I found that on Bake, the bottom heating elements caused the bottom to brown too quickly and not allow the batter to spread enough.**

Line your baking tray with a silicon mat (you can use the black drip tray, however I prefer a separate baking tray.)

In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup Sugar and 1 tsp Cinnamon.

Using a small 1 Tbl cookie scoop, scoop 2 mounds of batter into your hand and roll into 1 ball. It should be a little bigger than a golf ball. Than roll the dough in the Cinnamon Sugar mixture to coat completely. Place dough on the baking tray and continue making sure the dough is about 2 inches apart. Pat the tops of the dough so they are little flatter, this will help with spreading.

Place the tray in the preheated Omni and bake for 10 mins.

When done, remove and place on cooling rack until they are completely cooled. As you continue to bake and cool the rest of the cookie dough, start making the Buttercream.

Salted “Caramel” Buttercream Filling

Remove the Dulce de Leche from the fridge.

In a clean bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups softened Butter on medium speed. Mix until the Butter is light and fluffy. Add 1 tsp Vanilla and beat until well incorporated.

Slow the mixer to medium low speed and slowly add 2 cups of Powdered Sugar until well combined. You may have to scrape the bowl down a few times.

Add 4 heaping Tbl of Dulce de Leche and 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt. Mix on medium low until well combined. Taste and add more Dulce de Leche or Salt according to your taste.

For easier filling, you can place the Buttercream frosting into a ziploc bag, then cut one corner to make a piping bag. You can also just spoon and spread with an offset spatula.

Once the cookies are completely cooled (they cannot even be slightly warm), start filling the cookies by piping/spreading about 2 Tbl onto the bottom of one cookie. Then sandwich the cookies together.

**Only fill enough cookies that you will eat that day. You can store the cookies (filled or not) in an air tight container at room temperature and store the rest of the Buttercream in the fridge.**

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Sheri Abrams

Lana, you are amazing. The things you do to make your family happy is beyond Mother of the Year. Thank you for sharing and working so hard to prepare this recipe.