1cupunsalted butter, at room temperature (230 grams)
1/2cuppacked dark brown sugar (100 grams)
1/2cupmolasses (170 grams)
3 3/8cupsall purpose flour (420 grams)
1 1/2tspground ginger
1tspfresh cracked black pepper
1/4tsp ground cloves
1/4tspfresh grated nutmeg (more to taste)
6cupsconfectioner's sugar, sifted
12Tbspvery hot water, plus more if needed
Beat the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the honey and molasses, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the bowl well, making sure to incorporate all the butter from the bottom of the bowl as well as the sides.
Blend in all the spices, and then the baking soda and salt. Finally fold in the flour and mix just until combined and no streaks of flour remain ~ don't over mix.
Cover the dough and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop dough using a small 1-inch cookie scoop and roll into smooth balls. Place 2 inches apart on the parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes until just puffed. Let cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Mix the sugar with the hot water to make a smooth glaze. Stir well to remove any lumps. Dip the cookies in the glaze and set them on a rack. Immediately top them, while the glaze is wet, with the crushed pink pepper if using. Let them dry for at least 12 hours or until the glaze is fully set.
I suggest making the glaze in two batches to avoid contaminating the glaze with crumbs etc.