Cookies: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking
soda, and spices.
In the bowl of your electric mixer
(or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add
the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour
mixture beating until incorporated.
Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half
in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C)
and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment
paper and set aside while you roll out the dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the
dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a floured cookie cutter to cut
out the cookies. With an offset spatula lift the cut out cookies onto the
baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 inch (2.54 cm) apart.
Bake for about 8 - 12 minutes depending on the
size of the cookies. Small ones will take about 8 minutes, larger cookies
will take about 12 minutes. They are done when they are firm and the edges
are just beginning to brown.
Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on
the baking sheet for about 1 minutes. When they are firm enough to move,
transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies depending on the
size of cookie cutter used.
For Royal Icing with Egg
Whites: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer),
beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar
and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. Tint portions of
frosting with desired food color..
The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container
as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when
not in use.
For Royal Icing with Meringue
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or
with a hand mixer), beat
the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and
beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7
minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered
sugar or water.
To cover or 'flood' the entire surface of the
cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the
ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the
icing for a few seconds before disappearing.
Tint portions of frosting with desired food
The icing needs to be used
immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when
exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
Makes about 3 cups