Shop Sale at Williams-Sonoma
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
2/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter,
cut into tablespoon pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 3/4 to 4 cups
1/2 teaspoon salt
Decorating icing: See recipe below
assorted 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters (preferably
snowflake-shaped); a metal offset spatula;
a pastry bag fitted with 1/8- to
1/4-inch plain tip (optional)
Bring molasses, brown sugar, and spices
to a boil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring
occasionally, and remove from heat.
Stir in baking soda (mixture will foam
up), then stir in butter 3 pieces at a time, letting each addition melt before
adding next, until all butter is melted.
Add egg and stir until combined,
then stir in 3 3/4 cups flour and salt.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with as much
of remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed to prevent sticking, until soft and easy
to handle, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Halve dough, then wrap 1 half in plastic
wrap and keep at room temperature. Roll out remaining dough into a 14-inch
round (1/8 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Cut out as many cookies as
possible with cutters and carefully transfer with offset spatula to 2 buttered
large baking sheets, arranging them about 1 inch apart.
Bake cookies in
upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through
baking, until edges are slightly darker, 10 to 12 minutes total (watch
carefully toward end of baking; cookies can burn easily).
to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps
Put icing in pastry bag (if using) and pipe or spread
decoratively onto cookies.
Cookies keep in an airtight container at room
temperature 3 weeks.
Makes about 3 cups
1 (1-lb) box
4 teaspoons powdered egg whites (not reconstituted)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Food coloring (optional)
Beat together all ingredients except food
coloring in a large bowl with an electric mixer at moderate speed until just
combined, about 1 minute.
Increase speed to high and beat icing, scraping
down side of bowl occasionally, until it holds stiff peaks, about 3 minutes in
a standing mixer or 4 to 5 minutes with a handheld.
Beat in food coloring
(if using). If you plan to spread (rather than pipe) icing on cookies, stir in
more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin to desired