• 3/4 Cup butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 Cup sugar
• 3/4 Cup molasses
• 3 1/4 Cups flour
• 1 Teaspoon baking soda
• 2 Teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a bowl, mix at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in molasses. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir into butter mixture, blend well.
Divide dough in half. Flatten each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap each half and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
Roll dough, a portion at a time, to 1/4 inch thick. With floured cutters, cut dough into people shapes. With a wide spatula or transfer cookies to buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Repeat rolling and cutting with scraps.
Bake cookies at 300° degrees until edges are brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Let stand on sheets for abou t 5 minutes to firm up, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Powdered sugar icing: If it's too thick, add a few drops of water; if it's too thin, gradually add more powdered sugar. To tint, add food coloring a few drops at a time.
Piping: In a bowl, stir 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 1/2 tablespoons water until smooth. Tint with food coloring. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch tip or a heavy 1-quart zip-lock plastic bag. Seal plastic bag and squeeze icing into a corner; cut a tiny opening at corner of bag to squeeze icing out. Let cookies stand for 5 minutes until icing is firm. Makes 2 dozen cookies.