Prep 10 mins
Cook 50 mins
A grownup spice cookie with icing found in The Washington Post. Adapted from Good Housekeeping's "The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook". Makes a lot of cookies - can be halved. The dough needs to be chilled first for 1 hour, then for 4 hours or up to overnight. Logs of dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. Baked, undecorated cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Decorated cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
For the cookies
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 3⁄4 cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup molasses
- 1⁄4 cup strong coffee
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
For the icing
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder (half an envelope)
- 1 -1 1⁄4 cup water
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- multicolored candy sprinkles (optional)
- For the cookies: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on high speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low, then add the flour, molasses, coffee, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, beating until well blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze for about 1 hour, or until firm.
- Lightly flour the work surface. Divide the dough in half. Shape each portion into a 12-inch-long log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to overnight, until quite firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- Cut the logs of dough crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cookies are set and the edges are lightly browned. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Meanwhile, make the icing: Whisk together the granulated sugar and gelatin in a medium saucepan, then add the water, stirring to incorporate. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Place the confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. With the motor on low speed, gradually add the sugar-gelatin mixture until blended, then increase the speed to high and beat for about 10 minutes, until the icing is smooth and has an easily spreadable consistency. Add the vanilla extract and beat just to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap until ready to use.
- Use a small spatula or offset knife to spread a generous amount of the icing on each cookie. Decorate with multicolored sprinkles, if desired, while the icing is still wet. Let the icing set, for about 1 hour, before serving or storing.