– 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for sprinkling – 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon – 2 teaspoons ground ginger – 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg – 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves – 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt – 1/4 teaspoon baking soda – 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, at room temperature – 1/3 cup packed brown sugar – 1 egg – 1/3 cup molasses
1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and baking soda. 2. In a large bowl (I used my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer), beat the butter and brown sugar together until creamy. 3. On low speed, mix the egg and molasses into the butter and sugar. 4. Still on low speed, add the dry ingredients (about 1/2 cup at a time to prevent a mess!), and mix well.
5. Divide the dough into 2 balls, and dust them with flour. Wrap 1 ball in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it. 6. Roll other ball of dough out to about 1/8 inch thick. 7. Place the rolled sheet of dough in the freezer for 20 minutes. 8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 9. Remove the sheet of dough from the freezer, and use your cookie cutter to cut out 9 gingerbread men.
10. Place the gingerbread men on a lined baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes. 11. Transfer the cookies to a wire baking rack to cool completely. 12. For the icing, whisk the egg whites until frothy. 13. Mix in the vanilla, then add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time. 14. Turn the speed up to high, and whisk for 6 to 8 minutes, until stiff, glossy peaks form.
15. Scoop the icing into a plastic bag with the end snipped off. 16. Pipe antlers, eyebrows, ears and a mouth onto each cooled cookie. 17. Snip the points off each chocolate chip. 18. One at a time, pipe 2 ovals for eyes onto each cookie. Place a chocolate chip upside down into each oval. 19. Working with 4 cookies at a time, place a dot of icing above the mouth, and stick on a red m&m.