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- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup mild-flavored molasses
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Food coloring
- Small candies such as red candies, candy corn, miniature candy-coated semisweet chocolate pieces
1. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, spices, and soda; beat until combined.
2. Add molasses, lemon juice, vanilla, and egg yolk; beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.
3. Wrap dough and chill 3 hours or until firm.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 5-inch hand-shaped cookie cutter. Or, make a cardboard pattern of a hand and cut around pattern using a sharp knife. Place cookies 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
5. For each cookie, also cut out a triangle (2x3x3-1/2 inches) from the dough and bake as above.
6. In a small mixing bowl combine meringue powder, water, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, then on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until very stiff. Use at once or cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
7. Tint with food coloring as desired. When not using icing, keep it covered with clear plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Place icing in pastry bag fitted with a round writing tip.
8. When cookies are cool, use icing to pipe names onto bodies of turkeys. Decorate as desired by using icing to attach candies. Let dry for several hours.
9. Store cookies and triangles in an airtight container up to 3 days. Before using, attach triangles (place-card stands) to back of hand. Let dry completely before standing up. Makes 10 place cards.