Are you ready to talk about Christmas yet? How about Christmas cookies? Around here, with Thanksgiving and Halloween in the past now, I’m starting to think about Christmas. I’m preparing mental gift lists, I’m entering party dates into my calendar, and I’m starting to plan for the cookie baking season. I would like to gently suggest, that now might also be a good time for you to think about your Holiday baking. Ok, well, maybe not gently suggest, but sort of entice, by way of gratuitous shots of me baking up some Gingerbread cookies. So, if you can all stand it, I’m making November “cookie month”. And anyway, even if you aren’t ready to start thinking about all that December will bring, a cookie is a fantastic treat in the meantime, right?
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup unsulfured molassesICING
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
3 large egg whites
1 drop lemon juiceFor the dough, add the dry ingredients (except sugar) to a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Beat the butter and sugar, adding 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.
Set the racks in the middle upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.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. Re-roll the scraps immediately; or press together, chill and re-roll later. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until firm when pressed with a fingertip.