Let’s get the holiday baking started!
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup or honey
1 to 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
Whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour, and then stir these dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.
Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap well, and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. The dough may be sticky and hard to roll if not thoroughly chilled, so make sure it’s cold before continuing.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get out several baking sheets; there’s no need to grease them, though lining with parchment saves effort on cleanup.
Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. Flour both the top and bottom of the dough if it starts to stick. Alternatively, place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour.
Cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets (or, if you’ve rolled right onto the parchment, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
For icing, mix all of the ingredients together. Stir until smooth; a fork works fine. The glaze should be thick, but soft enough to “settle” when you spread it. If the glaze is too thick, dribble in another teaspoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
Decorate as desired with icing and sprinkles.