- Beat the butter, brown sugar and molasses together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Shape the dough into two disks, wrap and chill for about an hour up to two days (the dough will still be soft, even once chilled).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two or three baking trays with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first disk of dough until just over ⅛-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter of your choosing to cut out desired shapes. Lift the cookies carefully to the prepared trays, leaving about ½-inch between them. Any scraps can be stored chilled and then re-rolled until it has all been used.
- Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes until you see them brown a little just around the edges. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the tray before removing to cool completely.
- For the royal icing, beat the meringue powder, icing sugar and warm water with an electric mixer until peaks form (approximately 10-12 minutes). Divide the icing into bowls and stir in colour, if desired.
- To assemble, spoon the royal icing into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe desired patterns, lines or dots on the cookies and sprinkle with coloured sugars or other edible décor. Let the cookies dry for two hours before packing.
The cookies will keep up to a week in an airtight container.
Adapted from Bake with Anna Olson