- In a small saucepan cook and stir butter, brown sugar, and molasses over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Pour into a large mixing bowl; let cool for 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. Add egg and vanilla to butter mixture in mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in the flour mixture until well combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use about one-fourth of the dough to make twenty-four 1/2-inch balls. Shape the remaining dough into twelve 1 1/2-inch balls. Place large balls 2 inches apart on and ungreased cookie sheet. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness. Place a small ball on either side of the large balls for earmuffs. Press small balls down slightly with your finger (small balls may overlap large balls).
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until puffed and just set. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
- Spoon Powdered Sugar Icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Use icing to decorate cookies to resemble faces. Embellish with candies as desired. Brush luster dust on cheeks. Trim fruit leather for hair and scarves; attach with icing. Let stand until set.
From the Test Kitchen
Place cookies in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Powdered Sugar Icing
- In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, vanilla, and salt. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make icing piping consistency. Add food coloring as desired.
Nutrition Facts (Gingerbread Faces)
- Per serving:
- 264 kcal ,
- 8 g fat
- (5 g sat. fat ,
- 0 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 2 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 36 mg chol. ,
- 251 mg sodium ,
- 44 g carb. ,
- 1 g fiber ,
- 23 g sugar ,
- 3 g pro.