Get a head start by baking cookies up to four days ahead and storing in an airtight container. Frost one day before serving; after frosting is set, pack cookies in airtight containers between layers of wax paper. This dough also makes fine slice-and-bake cookies: Form the dough into two (8-inch) round logs, and chill; slice the chilled logs into 1/8-inch rounds, and bake at 350° for 8 minutes or just until set and golden.
Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2009
1. To prepare cookies, weigh or lightly spoon flour into measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, ginger, and next 5 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine brown sugar, butter, and molasses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes. Add egg; beat well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until well blended. Divide dough in half (dough will be sticky). Gently press dough into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap. Cover with additional plastic wrap; chill 1 1/2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Roll each portion of dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured work surface; cut with a 3-inch gingerbread man or woman cookie cutter to form 48 cookies. Place cookies 1 inch apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cookies from baking sheet; cool completely on a wire rack.
4. To prepare the icing, combine sifted powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Spoon the mixture into a zip-top plastic bag. Snip a small hole off the corner of the bag. Pipe icing onto the cookies as desired.
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