Sugar and Spice Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

Christy Rost

A touch of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and molasses add seasonal flavor to these pretty sugar-and-spice cookies. Garnish them with a simple glaze and a generous dusting of tinted sugars to make them extra special for lunchboxes, autumn gatherings, and holiday parties.

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, molasses, and vanilla, and beat until they are well blended.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture with a large spoon until the mixture forms a stiff dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill 1 to 2 hours until it is cold. Roll the dough out on a floured pastry cloth to 1/4-inch thickness and cut the dough with a 3-inch pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer the cookies to a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 9 to 10 minutes until they are firm. Cool 1 minute; then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies.

Sugar Glaze

2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

2 1/2 - 3 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Orange food coloring

Orange and green decorative sugar

Method

In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla until the glaze is very thick. Tint with several drops of orange food coloring, stir well, and spread the glaze on each cookie. Sprinkle with decorative sugars.