makes 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cutter
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened in the mixing bowl
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light molasses
2 ½ cups sifted AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup brewed tea – black, Earl Gray, jasmine, whichever you prefer
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Get out your mixer and, with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Once the mixture is light and airy, beat in the molasses. Once the molasses is well incorporated, add dry ingredients alternately with tea, mixing on low speed so as not to over mix. When the dough is just about combined, add vanilla bean paste. Form the dough into a couple of round, flat discs, wrap well and chill for at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Dust your counter generously with flour to roll out dough, adding more flour as needed while your roll to keep the dough from sticking. Roll out to about ¼ inch. Using a flour-dusted cutter, cut out shapes and place on Exopat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill cut cookies until firm.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes, until slightly puffed and just barely beginning to brown. Allow to cool and dust with powdered sugar or make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and lemon juice** and drizzle over cooled cookies.
Cookies keep in an airtight container for about a week (as if you can wait that long!)
Try this Icy Icing as a lovely finish to any cutout cookie!
½ pound powdered sugar + more if needed to make a firmer icing
2 teaspoons powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
¼ cup water, as needed to thin to piping consistency
Combine all ingredients until they just come together, then increase mixer speed to high and continue to beat until icing holds firm peaks. Transfer icing to a piping bag and decorate! If you are not going to use the icing right away, cover the surface with a damp paper towel and then cover the bowl with plastic, or store in the piping bag. Can keep for a couple of days, chilled in your fridge.