Makes three dozen small or 18 large cookies
These classic cut-out cookies are a holiday tradition. Whether you opt for simple shapes or an intricate gingerbread house, the simple egg-white icing is the finishing touch.
½ cup (125 ml) butter, room temperature ¾ cup (180 ml) packed brown sugar ¼ cup (60 ml) fancy molasses 1 egg 2½ cups (625 ml) all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground ginger 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cloves 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) fine sea salt
4 cups (1L) sifted icing sugar 3 egg whites (or pasteurized egg whites) ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) cream of tartar
1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light. Beat in the molasses and egg.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the spiced flour to the butter mixture and blend until the dough comes together. Knead dough until it forms a ball. Form into a flat disk, cover with plastic, and chill for 30 minutes. (Dough can be chilled for up to three days.)
3. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°F) and line baking sheets with parchment. Let dough sit at room temperature to soften before rolling between two sheets of parchment to one quarter-inch thick. Cut into shapes, re-rolling scraps as necessary. Place cookies on baking sheets.
4. Chill 10 minutes before baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until centres are firm when lightly touched. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool before icing.
1. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, or a large bowl using an electric beater, whip the icing sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar on high until thick, about five to eight minutes.
2. Fill piping bag fitted with a small round tip, or a plastic bag with the corner snipped. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of any remaining icing sugar to prevent drying out.
3. Pipe onto cooled cookies. Icing will harden once set.