The aroma of freshly baked gingerbread cookies means the holiday season is here! Icing and sparkling sugar add festive flair. Royal Icing dries rapidly. Work quickly, keeping extra icing covered tightly at all times.
Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy.
Stir together 1/4 cup water and soda until dissolved; stir in molasses.
Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture alternately with molasses mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Shape mixture into a ball; cover and chill 1 hour.
Roll to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a 7 1/2-inch snowflake cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Cut out designs in snowflakes using 1/4- to 1/2-inch cutters, and remove.
Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Spoon icing into a small heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag; pipe around edges of cookies. Sprinkle icing with sugar, if desired.
Note: Sparkling sugar can be found at cake decorating and kitchen shops.
Royal Icing dries rapidly. Work quickly, keeping extra icing covered tightly at all times.
I made these for work, but made about 50 smaller 2-3 inch cookies. I thought the recipe could use 2x to 3x more ginger since the flavor seems very subtle to me. However, my coworkers really loved it, and it was a decent cookie for dunking in your morning coffee. Really good with white chocolate drizzled over it. This recipe makes A LOT of dough.
By coincidence my six year old and I made these cookies yesterday. We made two batches-one with dark molasses and one with regular. The dark is much spicier, but both are very good. It is easy enough that she was able to do most of it herself. The 8 cookie yield is based on the very large cutters used. We used regular sized cutters and got about 3 dozen per batch. Definitely a keeper for our family.
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