Ginger Spice Cookies

Ginger Spice Cookies
From Food Network Kitchens

These crisp cookies, made with fresh ginger and molasses, are perfect for decorating.

Recipe Summary
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies, depending upon shape
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 14 to 18 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

1-inch knob peeled fresh ginger or 2 tablespoons
prepared ginger juice
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly and finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature cut into pieces
1 cup superfine sugar
2/3 cup molasses, preferably sorghum

1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons egg white powder
2 cups confectioners\’ sugar
Food coloring, sprinkles, candies, or colored sugars
as desired

Puree the ginger in a mini food processor with 2 tablespoons water.
Squeeze and strain juice through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
Discard the ginger pulp. Reserve the juice.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a medium bowl,
then whisk in the pepper; set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Add the molasses and ginger juice and beat until evenly incorporated, about 2 minutes.
(Stir together with a spatula if needed.)
Gradually blend the dry ingredients on low speed into the butter mixture
until you have a crumbly mixture.
Bring the dough together by hand pressing and kneading lightly until moist, but not tacky.
Divide into 2 equal portions, press into disks about 1/2-inch thick.
Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Position racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Dust the dough and a work surface with flour. Roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out cookies into desired shapes. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake until the cookies are a rich tawny brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

For decorating: Whisk the water and egg white powder in a medium bowl until foamy and smooth.
Gradually whisk in the confectioners\’ sugar to make a smooth icing.
For multiple colors divide the icing into batches
and add a food coloring as desired. Spread or pipe the icing onto the cookies. Finish with sprinkles, or candies.
Let rest on a rack until the icing sets, about 30 minutes.

Cook\’s Notes
• For a chewier cookie, roll them 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick and bake for 16 to 20 minutes.

• Decorating holiday cookies is a great way to indulge your creative spirit while making something sweet.
Crushed candy canes and chopped nuts are perfect holiday stand-ins for sprinkles and dragees.

• When adding food coloring to royal icing, add it slowly, drop by drop.
Since it\’s potent stuff, your icing could quickly resemble a neon light.

• If you don\’t have a pastry bag and tip, use a plastic sandwich bag.
Drop icing into the bag, push it to the corner, and snip off the corner tip.