Spiced Gingerbread Cookies

 Serves: 16-24    |     Prep: 20-30 min     |     Cook: 9-12 min     |     Ready: 45 min


1/2 c. salted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c. un-sulfured molasses
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1  1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1  1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
1 tsp. finely grated lemon or orange
1 batch royal icing or confectioner’s


12 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 c. light brown sugar
1/3 cup finely minced candied ginger
1/4 c. unsulfured molasses
2 tsp. pure vanilla
1 large egg
1 tsp. lemon or orange zest with some juice

2 c. + 2 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 T. Unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

1 batch royal icing or confectioners sugar


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together until nice and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla in, allow to incorporate completely, then add in the molasses and lemon zest and blend. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the flour to the butter mixture. Setting the mixer speed on low, mix until just combined. Divide dough into 2 balls, lightly flour and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate dough until cold and firm, one hour and up to 2 days.

Position two racks near the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat (I highly suggest silicone mats as they help reduce spreading). Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch (for slightly softer cookies) and just a tad bit thinner (for crunchier cookies). Dip the cookie cutter in flour before cutting out the shape. Place cut outs two inches apart on baking sheet, refrigerate the cookie until they are firm, about 15 minutes. You can also place the tray in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 9-12 minutes. It may take a few minutes longer depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. When cool proceed icing as desired or simply sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store cookies in an air tight container in between layers of parchment paper for up to 5 days.