" SPICE COOKIE CUTOUTS "
(frosting recipe is below the cookie recipe)

Ingredients.....

1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of light (mild) molasses
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 cup of butter or margarine (1 stick), cut into chunks
1 large egg, beaten
3 & a 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Ornamental Frosting (optional)

1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in the baking soda (mixture will foam up in the pan). Stir in the butter until melted. With a fork, stir in egg, then flour.

2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until thoroughly mixed. Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half of dough with plastic wrap and set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. With a floured rolling pin, roll the remaining half of dough slightly thinner than 1/4 inch. With floured 3- to 4-inch assorted cookie cutters, cut the dough into as many cookies as possible; reserve the trimmings. Place the cookies, 1/2 inch apart, on an ungreased large cookie sheet. Reroll trimmings and cut out more cookies.

4. Bake the cookies 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. When cookies are cool, prepare Ornamental Frosting if you like; use it to decorate the cookies as desired. Set the cookies aside to allow the frosting to dry completely, about 1 hour. Store them in a tightly covered container (with waxed paper between layers, if decorated) at room temperature up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Yields about 3 dozen cookies.

Cooking time of approx. 12 minutes per batch.

Preparation time approx. 50 minutes

Based on individual serving.

Calories: 95
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 13 mg
Sodium: 100 mg
Carbohydrates: 15 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 2 g

Recipe for Ornamental Frosting:

1 package (16 ounces) of confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons of meringue powder *SEE NOTE*
assorted food colorings (optional)

1. In a bowl, with a mixer at medium speed, beat the sugar, meringue powder, and 1/3 cup of warm water until blended and mixture is so stiff that a knife drawn through it leaves a clean-cut path, about 5 minutes.

2. If you like, tint the frosting with food colorings as desired; keep covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying out. With a small metal spatula, artists' paintbrushes, or decorating bags with small writing tips, decorate the cookies with frosting. (You may need to thin frosting with a little warm water for the right spreading or piping consistency.)

Yields about 3 cups of frosting.
Serving size is about 1 tablespoon per
Preparation time for icing is approx. 5 minutes

*NOTE* Meringue powder can be found at speciality baking stores or where cake decorating supplies are sold. It is a speciality product so it won't be found in grocery stores, etc. I purchase mine whenever I make a trip to the place I purchase all my baking needs from special pans to decorative tips to cello bags, etc.. whatever I need. It's a fine whitish powder that smells similiar to vanilla.

Based on individual serving.

Calories: 40
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 3 mg
Carbohydrates: 10 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 0 g


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