3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 Tbs. ground ginger

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. cardamom

6 Tbs. unsalted butter

¾ cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

½ cup molasses

2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom until well blended. In a separate bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and continue beating until smooth.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, then sprinkle additional flour over dough and rolling pin. Roll dough until 1/4-inch thick throughout. (The thicker the dough, the softer the cookie — the thinner, the crispier.) Cut the cookies with your favorite cookie cutter, using additional flour as necessary to avoid sticking.

Space the cut cookies 1 ½ inches apart on a greased or lined baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes. (Less oven time will yield a softer cookie.) Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack. Decorate with royal icing.

Royal Icing:

2 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl or standing mixer, combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, mixing on a low speed until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is shiny. Once the sugar is combined, beat on high until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks (approximately 5-7 minutes). Transfer the icing to a pastry bag and decorate!


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