Iced Gingerbread Cookies

I first tried these cookies a couple of years ago when I participated in a cookie swap.

I immediately saved the recipe knowing I wanted to make
 them again....then forgot about 'em, until now. 

They are as good as I remember. 

The cookies were sent to my by "The Busty Baker".

Nice spice level, soft and a little chewy. Delicious!!!

Decorating cakes or cookies is not my thing, so mine are not near as pretty as the 
original cookies I tried. I didn't want to go to the trouble of using an icing bag and tip, 
but they do taste as good, and that works for me. 

I don't recommend putting the sugar crystals on there (I think it ruins the texture), 
I just did that as a desperate attempt to make my first photo turn out better.

I changed up the recipe for the icing a bit, 

but other than that, they're pretty much the same.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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Iced Gingerbread Cookies

4 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup molasses
1 large egg

Royal Icing:
1 1/2 tbsp meringue powder

3 tbsp butter
2 cups conf. sugar
3 tbsp water
1/8 tsp lemon extract

1/8 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Food coloring, if desired

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in molasses and egg, beating to combine. Add flour mixture a little at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Turn out dough onto clean work surface and divide into four portions. Pat each portion into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge until firm, at least 1 hour. When dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters in desired shapes. Transfer shapes to prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Re-roll scraps as needed. Place the cut dough on the baking sheets, and then in the fridge to chill about 20 minutes.
When chilled, bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cookies are puffed and edges are just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cookies are cooled completely, make royal icing: 

In the clean bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat together meringue powder, confectioners’ sugar and butter. Beat in water, and extract until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 3 minutes. 
Divide into bowls and add food coloring if desired.