Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses and mix until smooth.
Gradually add the dry ingredients while mixing on low, and mix until the dough comes together.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough a couple of times until it becomes smooth. Divide in two and form into disks. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F
Let the chilled dough sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch. Note: you want your cookies nice and thick so they will be easy to dip in the frosting later.
Cut out your cookies and place on a parchment or silpat line baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. They'll be slightly puffed and firm, with a few tiny cracks. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
Let them cool completely before frosting.
Put the meringue powder and warm water into the clean bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use hand held beaters) and beat until foamy. If you are using egg whites, don't add the water yet.
Slowly beat in the sugar until thick and glossy. Add water as necessary to thin the mixture to the consistency of pancake batter. It should be thick but pourable.
Pour the icing into a wide shallow bowl and tap the bowl sharply on a hard surface to bring any bubbles to the suface. Stir to remove bubbles.
Dip each cookie, head first, into the icing, making sure all surfaces make contact. Lift straight up and let the excess frosting drip off. The flip the cookie over and set on a drying rack.
Add any embellishments while the frosting is wet. Then let the cookies fully harden before moving.
These cookies made great ornaments!
Just poke a hole in the tip of each cookie before baking. You can use a skewer or even a plastic straw.
After dipping in royal icing, make sure the hole remains clear.
When the cookies have fully dried, thread a thin ribbon or twine through each hole and knot to form a loop for hanging.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/gingerbread-cookies-with-royal-icing-recipe/ December 11, 2020