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Swedish Ginger Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen 2-inch cookies

Total Time
1 hr

These delicate cookies are topped with a royal icing glaze. Ground ginger provides a bright spice to the cookie, making it sweet and satisfying.

 2/3 cup butter, cut into chunks
 1/3 cup granulated sugar
 1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
 2 tablespoons light or dark molasses
 1 tablespoon ground ginger
 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
 2 teaspoons baking soda
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  Royal icing
Step 1

In a 2- to 3-quart pan over low heat, combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir often until butter is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2

In a small bowl, mix baking soda with 1/4 cup water. Stir into butter mixture. Add flour and stir until well blended. Divide dough into three equal portions.

Step 3

Place each portion between sheets of floured plastic wrap. Press evenly into a disk about 1/4 inch thick. Stack disks on a baking sheet and chill until dough is firm, at least 15 minutes, or up to 2 days.

Step 4

Working with one portion of dough at a time (keep remaining chilled), peel off plastic wrap and set disk on a floured board. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough about 1/8 inch thick. With floured cookie cutters (2 to 4 in. wide), cut out cookies, placing cutters as close together as possible. Transfer to baking parchment-lined or bare baking sheets (don't butter sheets), placing cookies about 1 inch apart. Gather up dough scraps and press together into a ball. If dough is still cold, roll and cut out remaining cookies. If dough is soft and sticky, press scraps into a ball and repeat step

Step 5

Bake cookies in a 350° oven (325° for convection) until firm to the touch and slightly darker brown around edges, 7 to 9 minutes. If baking more than one sheet at a time in one oven, switch positions halfway through baking. Slide parchment with cookies off sheets and onto racks or a counter to cool, then remove from parchment. Or cool on sheets about 1 minute, then, with a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. If not using baking parchment, wipe off baking sheets after each batch. Cool sheets before filling with more cookies.

Step 6

To decorate: Gather royal icing, cake-decorating sugar, jimmies, colored sprinkles, miniature chocolate chips, and/or red-hot candies.

Step 7

Fold down the top edges of a 1-quart heavy zip-lock plastic bag to form a cuff about 3 inches wide.

Step 8

Hold the bag under cuff and scoop in 1 to 2 cups icing. Squeeze the icing down into one corner of the bag. Squeeze all the air out of bag, and seal.

Step 9

When ready to use, cut about 1/16 inch off the filled corner of the plastic bag. Twist bag just above icing. Holding twisted end with one hand, gently press bag from the top to pipe icing onto cookie. Twist bag tighter as it empties. Sprinkle or gently press decorative sugar, candies, or chocolate chips into soft icing.

Step 10

When you're not using the icing bag, fold the opening closed and seal with a paper clip.

Step 11

Let cookies stand until icing is firm, 30 to 45 minutes. Store iced cookies airtight up to 3 days.

Step 12

Nutritional analysis per cookie.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Makes about 5 dozen 2-inch cookies

Amount Per Serving
Calories 49Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2.1g4%

Saturated Fat 1.3g7%
Cholesterol 5.5mg2%
Sodium 64mg3%
Total Carbohydrate 7g3%

Dietary Fiber 0.1g1%
Protein 0.6g2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.