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Spicy Gingerbread Cookies
By Susan Nye

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
softened at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup dark molasses   
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Icing (recipe follows)

Decoration: raisins, white, milk or semisweet
chocolate chips, various food coloring and
colors of sanding sugar

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream
the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and combine;
add the egg and combine. Add the molasses and
vanilla and combine.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda,
salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cayenne pepper.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture
a little at a time, mixing after each addition until
just combined. Shape the dough into a thick disk,
wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 1 or 2 cookie
sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough
out 1/4-inch thick and cut out with cookie cutters.
Decorate with raisins or chocolate chips. Bake until
firm, 8 to 10 minutes and let cool on the pan.

Meanwhile, divide the icing into several small bowls;
add a few drops of food coloring to each. Using
a pastry bag fitted with the smallest plain tip, pipe
white or colored icing onto the cookies and coat
with sanding sugar.  

Icing

1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

With a hand mixer, blend the confectioners' sugar and milk together. Add
more sugar or milk to get a pipe-able consistency.
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
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