Molasses Ginger Cookies

Molasses Ginger Cookies | All Purpose Flour Child

I've made these molasses ginger cookies for a few years now, but usually in the traditional way you'd see a molasses cookie: with a crackly sugar-coated exterior and I top mine with a little slice of candied ginger.  But when I came across the prettiest leaf cookie cutters a while back, I just couldn't resist.  The result was actually quite a bit different than the traditional molasses cookie method.  These were pillowy soft and almost melt in your mouth with the lemony icing. 

Since I am all about the details, I don't mind the admittedly tedious (yet totally enjoyable) task of piping a pile of cookies.  But, if you'd rather not go that route, you can use this dough to make classic molasses cookies instead, as I usually do.  Simply roll the dough into tablespoon size balls and roll in granulated sugar before baking.  Top with candied ginger too, if you like.  Either way, they're delicious.   

Molasses Ginger Cookies

makes about 30 medium-sized cookies  

3 1/4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3 t ginger
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1 c butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c blackstrap molasses
1 egg
2 t vanilla extract

For the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3 T meringue powder
1/4-1/2 c warm water
2 t vanilla extract
2 t lemon zest
food coloring or choice

Make the dough
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add the vanilla, egg, and molasses and beat until combined.  Slowly add the dry ingredients until the dough comes together.  Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap in a disk shape.  Refrigerate for at least two hours.  

Bake the cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle your work surface with a little powdered sugar.  Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough out to about 1/4 in thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Place cookies about 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and lightly golden around the edges.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Ice the cookies
For the icing, combine all ingredients,except the food coloring and starting with about 1/4 c of the water, in an electric mixer and beat until icing is thick but is still loose enough that it falls off the paddle attachment in a ribbon.  If the icing doesn't fall back on itself off the paddle attachment back into the bowl, add a little bit more of the water until you reach this consistency.  Mix in food coloring of choice.  I like to use gel because it's highly pigmented and concentrated so it won't mess with the consistency of your icing.  Fill a piping back fitted with a fine round tip, I used a #4.  At this point, the icing will be thick enough to pipe the edges of the cookies.  Outline all the cookies using the fine tip then thin out your icing with a tablespoon or so of warm water.  The consistency should be about the consistency of honey.  Go back and fill in the borders with a spoon or butter knife using the thinned icing, gently nudging the icing into all the corners of the cookies. 

Molasses Ginger Cookies | All Purpose Flour Child
Molasses Ginger Cookies | All Purpose Flour Child