Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies

Chai Gingerbread Cookies:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cardamom

1 Teaspoons Ground Allspice

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

Pinch Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Molasses

1 Tablespoon Plain Non-Dairy Milk

Blondie Gingerbread Cookies:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 1/2 - 3 Teaspoons Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

Pinch Nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup*

1 Tablespoon Plain Non-Dairy Milk

Royal Icing:

2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar

3 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1 Tablespoon Light Agave Nectar or Light Corn Syrup*

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla (or Peppermint, or Almond, or Lemon...) Extract

Water, as Needed and Used Sparingly

*Be sure to hunt down corn syrup that has no high-fructose corn syrup added. You can substitute light agave if you'd prefer, but the dough will brown more as a result.

Preheat your oven to 300.

The procedure is the same for either flavor of cookie, and if you want to make both, simply repeat the steps for the separate doughs. In either a large metal bowl or a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. While you can certainly bring this dough together by hand, it will require some vigorous stirring, so I would advice bringing out the heavy artillery if you have it!

Meanwhile, combine the margarine, sugar, and molasses or corn syrup in a mall saucepan and heat gently. Cook the mixture and stir gently, just until the margarine has melted and the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the hot liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients, immediately followed by the non-dairy milk, and mix well. It will be very thick and somewhat difficult to mix, but give it all you've got and don't waste time- It will become harder as it cools.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, press it into a ball, and roll it out to about an 1/8th of an inch in thickness. Cut it into your desired shapes with cookie cutters and transfer the cookies over to a silpat. Bake until the edges of your cookies are just barely browned; 13-20 minutes, depending on the size of your shapes. Let the cookies sit for a minute on the baking sheet before moving them over to a wire rack to cool.

For the royal icing, simply combine the confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, agave, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add in water, one teaspoon at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition, until it reaches a pipe-able consistency. Be sure to take this process slowly, as just one drop too much liquid can make the icing runny. Allow a full 24 hours for the icing to completely harden.

Yield varies based on the cookie cutter

©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com