¼ cup hot water (not boiling)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated or ground
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 ounce plain gelatin (1 packet)
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Notes: The cookies may be rolled out to ¼-inch thickness for a crisper cookie or to ½-inch thickness for a softer cookie.
Do not make frosting in advance or it will harden. Make the frosting while the cookies are cooling on the rack.
1. Pour the hot water into a liquid measuring cup, and stir in baking soda to activate it. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar and molasses for about 8 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
4. Add the baking soda/water mixture to the butter and continue to beat on low. Turn the mixer to medium low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, beating in one cup at a time.
5. Once dough is well mixed, lay out two strips of plastic wrap and turn out the dough onto one. Use the plastic wrap to move and shape the dough into a disc.
6. Wrap the disc in the second sheet of plastic wrap, then let sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or freezer for 45 minutes.
7. Once dough is firm, unwrap it and lay it out on a generously floured surface. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
8. Flour a rolling pin and roll out dough into 3/8-inch thickness. Cut dough with selected cookie cutter shape. Lay cookies on parchment paper on a cookie cookie sheet.
9. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
10. Due to the dark color of the cookies, visual cues of doneness will be based on the top of the cookie. The texture of the cookie will be cracked.
11. Cookies will be soft when pulled from the oven. Allow the cookies to rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
12. To make the frosting, place powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
13. In small sauce pan, add ¾ cup cold water and sprinkle with gelatin to separate the granules. Let gelatin dissolve. Once dissolved, stir in granulated sugar and cook over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the hot mixture to the reserved bowl of powdered sugar. Beat until foamy. Add in the vanilla and beat until thick.
14. Turn the cookie upside down, and frost the flat bottom part. Frosting will be a little runny, but it will firm as it sits. We recommend using a spoon to scoop it on top of cookies, and use the back of the spoon to spread over top. The frosting is meant to be hard, giving you a firm crunchy bite to contrast with the soft texture of the cookie.
15. Do not make frosting in advance or it will harden. Make the frosting while the cookies are cooling on the rack.
Per cookie: 170 calories; 4g fat; 2g saturated fat; 10mg cholesterol; 2g protein; 32g carbohydrate; 20g sugar; 1g fiber; 105 mg sodium; 20mg calcium