These iced cookies are a hit with kids, but warm fall spices—and a kick of black pepper—make them irresistible to adults as well. Use our decorative inspiration guide to make and submit your #bestdressedcookie for a chance to win our homemade cookie competition!
Back in the day all recipes were done by hand, so it’s fine if you don’t have an electric mixer. (We’re big fans of whisks.) It will take a bit more time, but you get a nice arm workout!
Gingerbread dough is very sticky! Before rolling it out, dust your counter liberally with all of the flour (for surface prep) in your kit.
Not sure how tall 1/4 inch thickness is? A stack of four quarters is about the same height.
Store cookies in an airtight container.
Wow, you’ve got some beautiful ingredients! Once you’ve unpacked your Red Velvet kit, take out 1 egg from your refrigerator. Let butter come to room temperature. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and black pepper. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars (granulated and brown) on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, molasses, and vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture and combine with a spatula. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap, then flatten and shape into two discs. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F; set two racks near the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper provided.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Heavily flour your work surface, using the flour for surface prep. Dust more flour over the dough. Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick, turning and adding more flour under and over the dough as necessary. With a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and gently transfer about 9 cookies to each of the prepared baking sheets, using a spatula if necessary. Gather the dough scraps and knead into a ball, then roll out and cut again, adding more flour as necessary. Repeat until scraps are used up.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until firm, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes until set, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
When the cookies are completely cool, make the royal icing. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the confectioner's sugar and meringue powder. Add 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon at a time. The icing will start out thick and lumpy. Slowly add 1 more tablespoon of water (you may not need all of it) until the icing resembles thick honey. Continue to whisk until thick and fluffy. Then divide icing evenly into 3 small bowls. Use a small spoon or toothpick to add the gel colors to each icing bowl.
Stir until the color is even, working quickly to prevent the icing from drying up. Using a spatula, fill each piping bag. To fill the bag, fold over the top to form a cuff, scoop in icing, then unfold and twist to push frosting down, releasing any air bubbles. Twist and seal the top of the bag. When you’re ready to pipe, cut a tiny corner off of the piping bag. This will be about 1/4 inch from the tip. (Start very small, do a test, and go from there.) Follow our inspirations, or create your own and win the #bestdressedcookie contest! Let dry for at least an hour.
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