1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
( some brands of this: Plantation, Grandma’s, Wholesome Sweeteners)
6 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
½ to 1 teaspoon finely-ground black pepper, to taste
Raisins, chocolate nonpareils, or Red Hots candies
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Divide dough into thirds, and wrap each third in plastic wrap. Chill for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°. Between two pieces of waxed paper, roll dough 1/8 in. thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. If desired, decorate with raisins, chocolate nonpareils or Red Hots candies. Refrigerate for 15 min. Bake for 8-10 min. until crisp, but not dark. Cool 1 min. on the cookie sheet, then remove to wire racks. Decorate with Royal Icing.
I have never made royal icing, but here is a link to Alton Brown’s method to make it should you or I decide we must. Http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/royal-icing-recipe/index.html#!