8 cookies
Photo: Charles Walton

How to Make It

Step 1

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy.

Step 2

Stir together 1/4 cup water and soda until dissolved; stir in molasses.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

Note: Sparkling sugar can be found at cake decorating and kitchen shops.

Chef's Notes

Royal Icing dries rapidly. Work quickly, keeping extra icing covered tightly at all times.

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