Whip* cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer, or by hand with a whisk, until soft peaks just begin to form. (Don't over whip, or the cream will not soften the cookies very well.)
Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on the bottom of the baking dish, so the cookies will have something to stick to. Arrange cookies side by side, to form a single layer but not overlapping (there will be gaps). Spread about a third of the whipped cream over them. Make sure there are no air pockets.
Add the last layer of cookies (which should finish off the package, but if not, pop them in your mouth before anyone looks). Top with the remaining cream, spreading out evenly, leaving a smooth finish. Check again for air pockets.
If topping with candied ginger and or nuts, finely chop. Crush a few ginger snaps if desired, and sprinkle on top.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. (You can serve it after 12 hours, but 24 hours is best.)
*Terminology: Whip – to beat vigorously with a whisk or electric mixer, in order to incorporate air into the food, rendering it light and fluffy. Examples: Cream and egg whites.
*Tip: For best results, do not whip cream in a plastic bowl—use a glass or metal bowl. Chef’s recommend chilling the metal bowl and beaters (or whisk) before whipping, but we have to admit that we’ve never done so. However, the colder everything is, including the cream, the fluffier it will be. It will also hold air longer and not separate as quickly.