Serves: Makes 48 large cookies
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup (8-ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons all-spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
Procedures:In a small bowl sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend thoroughly after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, as needed. Decrease speed to low and add molasses, spices and salt. Mix until well combined, about 1 minute. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Divide the dough in equal thirds, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and position an oven rack in the center.
Once the dough has chilled, prepare a clean work surface with flour, and roll out the dough to your desired thickness. For crisp cookies, roll out thin and for denser cookies, roll out thicker.
Use flour on the bottom and top of the dough to prevent the dough from sticking. Alternatively, you can roll the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Cut out shapes using the cookie cutter, and transfer cookies to ungreased cookie sheets. Transfer the cookies to the preheated oven and bake until they are slightly brown around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and leave to completely cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Decorate cookies with Royal Icing (recipe to follow) and food safe markers.
This light and fluffy icing is traditionally used for glazing cookies, preparing walls of a gingerbread house and piping decorations. Should you prefer a thinner consistency glaze, add a little more water to the mixture to thin-out.
To color the frosting, it is recommended that you use gel paste or powdered colors. Liquid food coloring can dilute the frosting making the end result separated and grainy. Professional bakers suggest placing an uncut pastry bag inside of the filled pastry bag, when not in use, to prevent the pastry bag from hardening at the tip.
- ¼ cup meringue powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ¾ cup cold water
- Food colorings of your choice (optional)
In the bowl of a stand-mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the meringue powder, salt and confectioners’ sugar.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the water and beat until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium then to high, over several minutes, until the icing is pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Transfer the frosting to a clean container and cover with a damp towel. If using food colors, divide frosting into smaller containers and mix until well combined.
To use for piping, put a tip onto the bottom of a disposable pastry bag. Using a coupler will allow you to change tips easily.