1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/4 cups flour
1. In pot combine sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling.
2. Remove from heat and stir in butter and baking soda until butter melts.
3. Cool mixture for 5 minutes then add egg and flour and mix well. Cover and chill 2-24 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half, keeping the remaning half chilled while rolling the other piece between sheets of wax or parchment paper until 1/4" thick.
5. Cut out desired shapes and bake until firm and golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Let cool a bit on pan then cool completely on wire racks.
6. Decorate with royal icing and candies!
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
In a bowl whisk together icing sugar and meringue powder. Whisk in almond extract and 1 teaspoon of water at a time until icing is still thick but easy to pipe. Place in piping bag with writing tip, or use a sandwich bag with the corner cut off.