For a whimsical presentation, arrange these cookies in a lunch box lined with colorful packing paper. Use a variety of cookie cutter sizes to create "families." If you don't want to cut the dough into shapes, roll it into two logs, cover, chill, and slice into 1/8-inch rounds. Refrigerate the dough up to three days, or freeze up to one month.
Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2006
To prepare cookies, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through cloves) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth and well blended. Add molasses and egg; beat until well blended. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until well blended. Divide dough in half; shape each dough portion into a flat disk. Wrap dough portions separately in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove 1 dough portion from refrigerator; remove plastic wrap. Roll dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut with a 3-inch boy or girl cookie cutter. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portion. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare decorations, combine powdered sugar and milk, stirring until smooth. Spoon mixture into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe onto cookies. Decorate as desired with sugar sprinkles.
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