Gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 and to the United States with the first settlers. In France, it is know as pain d'espices and in Germany as Lebkuchen, but the main ingredients seem to be very similar; honey or molasses and a range of spices. Whether it's in the form of a cake or cookies, it definitely has become one of the best loved baked goods for the Fall and Winter here.
Vanilla Bean Glazed Gingerbread Cookies
3/4 cup (12 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup mild-flavor molasses
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice*
*You can substitute 2 tsp. ground ginger, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. cloves and nutmeg for the Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Preheat oven to 325F-degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add the molasses and Pumpkin Pie Spice and mix thoroughly, scrapping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until the dough comes together.
Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes or until edges of the cookies are set. Do not over bake!
Remove from the oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Bean Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
3-4 T very hot water
Mix all the ingredients and spread on the slightly cooled cookies. These cookie are delicious with a cup of tea or coffee, sitting by a fire (and yes, I did have the gas logs burning:-D) and making lists for the holidays around the corner. Enjoy!