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Here is a treat you can make at home:
For the Gingerbread Cookies:
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
For the Royal Icing:
- 1 egg white or 1 tablespoon egg white powder
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Optional, for decorating:
- Raisins, currants, chocolate chips, candy pieces, frosting
- Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in the egg and molasses.
- Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. Be sure all flour is mixed in.
- Divide dough into thirds and wrap each third in plastic.
- Chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
- If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll out, work in a little more flour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place dough on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper.
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick.
- Transfer the rolled out dough to the refrigerate again to chill for 5 to 10 minutes. This will make it easier to cut out the cookies.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes.
- Transfer to ungreased baking sheets.
- Press raisins, chocolate chips or candy pieces into each cookie for decoration, if desired.
- Bake at 350°F until crisp but not darkened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat the egg whites and lemon juice together, adding the sifted powder sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. If using powdered egg whites: Combine 1 tablespoon egg white powder with 2 tablespoons water.
- If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.
- Once you make the royal icing, use quickly before it hardens.
- Fill a piping bag with the icing to pipe out into different shapes on the cookies. Keep the icing covered while you work with it or it will dry out.
- Once the cookies are decorated, the surface of the royal icing will dry quickly, within 15 minutes. Let the decorated cookies sit at room temp for 12 hours for the icing to set completely.
Makes two dozen cookies