1 hour 15 mins
1 hour 45 mins
½ cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup molasses, not blackstrap
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 ½ cups flour
4 cups powdered sugar
8 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, this is optional*
3 tablespoons meringue**
- Cream the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer, or with a handheld mixer, until the mixture is light and airy, about 4-5 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- To this, add the molasses, vanilla, orange zest, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix well to distribute the spices and aromatics fully.
- Once combined, add the flour and mix until your dough comes together. If needed, you can remove the dough from the mixer and gently knead on a lightly floured surface to help bring it together. Shape into a large disk about 1 inch thick, cover in Bee's Wrap or plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Remove the dough disk from the refrigerator and roll to around a 1/8th of an inch thickness. Use lightly floured desired cookie cutters and place cut out shapes on a prepared cookie sheet. You can use any desired cutters; we've even made these by cutting squares with a paring knife and a ruler.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they look dry and fully set. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and fully cooling on a rack or wax paper.
- To make the icing: Whisk the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, if using, in a medium bowl. Add 6 or 7 tablespoons of the lukewarm water and mix well. At first it's going to look and feel like it's not enough liquid to bring the mixture together into an icing, just go with it. Add the remaining tablespoons of water one at a time, stirring after every addition until you reach your desired consistency. We like using a fork for drizzling and then topped ours with some fun sprinkles.
*If you want a super bright white icing, we recommend omitting the vanilla extract, we however prefer the taste this adds to the icing.
**If you prefer an icing that firms up quickly, add 3 tablespoons meringue to the powdered sugar.