Ginger Brandy Cookies

Gingerbread people have long been holiday staples around our house. My sons loved decorating as much as they enjoyed eating the sweet treats. But these days we're a house full of grown ups and it seemed like a good idea to create a slightly more sophisticated version of our old favorite. We used mini-cutters from Williams Sonoma for crisps to top holiday flan, but two inch rounds make a tasty accompaniment for a nice cup of afternoon tea. Hope you like them!

GINGER BRANDY COOKIES
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 package vanilla instant pudding
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 shot ginger brandy
FRUIT CRUMBLE
1/4 cup dried fruits (I used pineapple, mango and papaya bits)
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
4 ounces white chocolate chips (to melt for for dipping)
Put fruit bits, flour and sugar in a mini-processor until finely ground. If mixture is sticky add a little more flour and sugar in equal amounts until texture resembles ground nuts. Set aside for later.
Beat butter, sugar, dry pudding mix and egg in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Mix remaining ingredients. Gradually add to pudding mixture, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is firm.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment covered baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let stand on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely before garnishing with melted white chocolate and fruit crumble. 

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