A holiday classic, as a kid I actually really disliked the taste of gingerbread. It was the combination of sweet molasses and tangy ginger that was what probably turned off my young and unexperienced tastebuds. Of course, like most children, back then all I wanted was sugar, sugar, and more sugar topped with sugar. But now as an adult I can appreciate the flavor pairing of sweet and spicy and understand why gingerbread has been a solid tradition for so many years. What’s that saying? “Sweet and Spice, everything nice!”
For the Gingerbread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups butter, softened
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, powdered ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
2. In another large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy, then add in the molasses, egg, and vanilla. Continue to beat until fully incorporated.
3. Stir the flour mixture into the sugar and butter mixture and gently knead by hand until a dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350F. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
5. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 1–2 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
5. Prepare icing: In a bowl, stir milk (one tablespoon at a time) into powdered sugar to create a thick icing. Decorate cookies as desired. Allow icing to set completely before serving.
6. Wasn’t that easy? Now go eat!