Perfectly spiced and utterly buttery gingerbread cookies cut into super-simple tree shapes, then dressed up with a zingy lemon icing + sparkly sugar.
1cup2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature*
2 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
1/2teaspoonfine-grain sea salt
2tablespoonsfresh-squeezed lemon juice
Coarse sugar for sandingI like Demerara
In a stand mixer or a large bowl (with a hand mixer), beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about three minutes.
Add the egg and molasses and beat until blended, scraping down sides as necessary.
To a separate medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined.
Press the dough together and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour, or up to three days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove disc from fridge and cut into fourths.
Roll each piece about 1/4 inch thick. You may need to let the dough warm up just a bit, and, depending on your surface, you may need some additional flour to prevent sticking.
With a knife or cookie cutter, cut the dough into simple triangle tree shapes (see pic above for reference).
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, until they're firm and just starting to get golden at edges. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze: mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. It will seem very thick at first but should thin out into a thick drizzle-able consistency. If it does not thin enough, add a bit more lemon juice until the right consistency.
Drizzle the glaze over the cookies. I place the icing in a Ziploc bag, cut the corner off, and drizzle lines of icing over the cookies that way. Easy peasy.
Immediately sprinkle on a little sugar before the icing hardens.
Let sit until icing hardens before storing or assembling on cookie plates. Cookies keep up to one week in an airtight container.