2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon meringue powder or dried egg white
1. Make cookies: Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves and baking soda in a small bowl. Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and then molasses, a little at a time until just combined. Divide dough in half, wrap each half separately in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour, or until firm.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.
Roll out half of dough 1/4 inch thick on floured surface. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters and place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Reroll scraps, chill until firm, and roll and cut out as directed.
3. Bake cookies 10 minutes, or until firm. Transfer to rack to cool completely.
4. Make Icing: Beat confectioner's sugar, 2 tablespoons water and the meringue powder in medium bowl with electric mixer until stiff and fluffy. Add additional water, if necessary to make icing manageable. Transfer icing to pastry bag fitted with very small piping tip. Decorate cookies as desired. Let icing dry completely before storing cookies in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Have fun cutting these into all different shapes and sizes, then decorate them with either the snowy sugar icing below, or for a real holiday feel, tint the icing red or green, or both, with food coloring.