4 c Unbleached; all purpose
1 tb Ground ginger
2 ts Ground cinnamon
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Grated nutmeg
1/2 ts Ground cloves
1/2 ts Baking soda
1/2 lb Unsalted butter; (2 sticks)
2/3 c Light or dark brown sugar
2 lg Eggs
2/3 c Unsulfured molasses
1 lb Confectioners’ sugar
3 lg Egg whites
1 dr Lemon juice or vinegar
Raisins; currants, nutmeats,
; colored sugar,
; sprinkles and other
For the dough, add the dry ingredients (except sugar) to a mixing bowl and
stir well to combine. Beat the butter and sugar, one egg at a time.
Continue beating until the mixture is smooth. Beat in half the flour
mixture, then stop and scrape the bowl and beater(s). Beat in the molasses,
scrape again, and beat in the remaining flour mixture, just until combined.
Divide the dough into several pieces and press each piece into a rectangle
about 1/4 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Chill the dough for
at least one hour or until firm.
Set the racks in the middle upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350
Roll the dough, one piece at a time, on a floured surface, just to make the
dough flat and even, but not much thinner. Cut with floured cutters and
arrange on the pans an inch or two apart. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Reroll the scraps immediately; or press together, chill and reroll later.
Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until firm when pressed with a
Cool the cookies on the pans. Meanwhile for the icing, combine
confectioners’ sugar and egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat by machine
until combined. Add the lemon juice or vinegar and continue beating until
fluffy. Divide the icing into several small bowls and add coloring. Keep
plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the icing to prevent a crust
from forming. Use a paper cone or the snipped end of a plastic bag to pipe
icing on the cookies. Use the raisins and other decorative ingredients to
accent the icing.
Yield: about 60 large cookies