2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ground allspice, baking powder, and baking soda
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsulphured molasses
Yolk from 1 large egg
2 teaspoons powdered egg white
2 tablespoon water
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus extra if needed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Food color (optional)
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder and baking soda to blend
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses (mixture will look curdled), then egg yolk. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until blended (dough will be slightly sticky). Divide into quarters, shape each portion into a disk and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, 3 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350ºF. Have ready baking sheet(s), a 3-inch gingerbread-kid cookie cutter and a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip.
On a generously floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out 1 portion dough at a time to ¼ inch thick. Cut out cookies and place about 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet(s). To hang cookies use a skewer to make a hole at top of each.
Bake 8 minutes or until slightly firm.
Cool on baking sheet(s) 2 minutes (if needed, open holes with a skewer) before removing to wire rack(s) to cool completely.
Royal Icing: In a large bowl, beat powdered egg white, water, sugar, and lemon juice with mixer on high speed 8 minutes or until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted, adding sugar if needed. Beat in food color. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 days.
Spoon into pastry bag; decorate cookies as desired. Let stand until icing sets.
Note: You may also use refrigerated liquid egg white or other substitute for white of 1 large egg.