Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  3. 1/4 cup mild molasses

  4. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  5. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  6. 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  7. 2 teaspoons ground allspice

  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  9. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  10. 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  11. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  12. 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  13. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  14. Royal Icing, recipe follows

  15. 5-inch-long and 3-inch-wide copper piggy cookie cutter

  16. 2 egg whites

  17. 3 cups confectioners' sugar, whisked to remove lumps

  18. Juice of 1/2 lemon

  19. Food coloring, optional

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Combine butter, sugar, and molasses in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in increments, and continue to beat until thoroughly mixed together.

  2. Pour the dough out onto the countertop and divide into 3 pieces. Press each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 1 to 2 hours, or up to 3 days.

  3. Adjust the racks to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line sheet trays with parchment paper.

  4. Spread 2 large pieces of parchment paper out and very lightly flour them. Place a disk of dough between the parchment sheets and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining disks of dough. Rework all the scraps into balls and re-chill before reusing. Repeat with all the dough.

  5. Cut out cookies and place on the parchment-lined sheet trays with an offset spatula, leaving 1 inch between each cookie. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheet trays for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling to room temperature before decorating the cookies with Royal Icing.

  6. Add the egg whites, sugar and lemon juice to a large bowl. Beat, using a hand mixer, until glossy and stiff, 5 to 6 minutes. Add food coloring, if using, and mix well. Place in icing bags with fine tips to decorate cookies.


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