Is there a more classic holiday cookie than the gingerbread cutout cookie decorated with icing? With the quintessential blend of warm spices and a spritz of lemon zest to brighten the flavor, these cookies might become your new go-to.
Iced Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
Makes about 36 cookies
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup (165 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (85 grams) unsulphured molasses
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) packed lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Royal Icing (recipe follows)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in molasses just until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt, lemon zest, nutmeg, and cloves. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. (Dough will be slightly sticky.) Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half (about 480 grams each), and shape each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough to ¼-inch thickness. (Keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use.) Using desired 3½-inch holiday cutters dipped in flour, cut dough, rerolling scraps as needed, and place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. (Refrigerate dough if it becomes too soft when rerolling.) Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake until centers are slightly puffed and dry and edges are slightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on pans for 3 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
- Place Royal Icing in pastry bag fitted with a coupler to switch between piping tips* as desired. Decorate cooled cookies with icing as desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
*We used Wilton No. 1, No. 3, and No. 4 piping tips.
Makes 2½ cups
- 3¾ cups (450 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 2½ tablespoons (25 grams) meringue powder
- 6 tablespoons (90 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder at low speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, add 6 tablespoons (90 grams) warm water in a slow, steady stream, beating until fluid, about 1 minute. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until stiff, 4 to 5 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.