One of my very favorite parts of the holiday season is attending my friend, Meghan’s, annual Cookie Party. What could possibly be better than good friends, yummy food, and dozens of cookies all in one place? Not much I say. Traditionally, I make and bring these Gingerbread Snowflake cookies, adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. They may not be the easiest thing you’ll bake this season, but they’ll definitely be in the running for the tastiest.
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
- Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
- Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
- Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip. Pipe designs on snowflakes. Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour.
Store cookies between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.**Royal Icing Ingredients
1 lb. confectioners sugar
5 tbsp. meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
- Combine all ingredients, mix on low for approx. 7 minutes. If too thick, add a bit more water. If too think, mix for another minute or two.