Rating: 3.5 stars
20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1

Warming cinnamon and ginger flavor these fall treats, while molasses adds a deliciously chewy texture. Use colorful royal icing to decorate the cookies to look like festive jack-o'-lanterns.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2000

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Credit: Bryan Gardner

Recipe Summary test

prep:
35 mins
total:
6 hrs 50 mins
Yield:
Makes about 72
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger into a large bowl; set aside.

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  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add molasses and vanilla; beat to combine, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Divide dough in half; shape each half into a flat disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm but still pliable, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a 1/4-inch-thick round. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining disk. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cookies are beginning to crack on the surface and firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

  • Divide icing evenly among three bowls and tint each with a different food coloring, starting with just a drop, mixing well, and adding more, drop by drop, to reach desired shade. Transfer to piping bags fitted with very small round tips (such as Ateco #1.) Pipe a thin line of icing around outer edge of each cookie. Pipe eyes, noses, and mouths in center of each cookie to create faces. Let stand 15 minutes. Pipe a generous amount of icing into empty spaces around eyes, noses, and mouths. Use a toothpick or a small food-safe paintbrush to push icing around and fill nooks and crannies. Gently tap cookies on a flat surface a few times to even out icing and remove air bubbles. Let stand until completely set, at least 4 hours.

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap, and slice each log into 3/8-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies crack slightly on the surface, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

  • When completely cool, decorate with royal icing mixed with desired food coloring.

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Reviews (25)

20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
You can find meringue powder at Michael's Craft Store in their Wilton baking section. In our store it is on a low, below knee level, shelf with the icings. Good luck!
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
You can find meringue powder at Michael's Craft Store in their Wilton baking section. In our store it is on a low, below knee level, shelf with the icings. Good luck!
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
You can find meringue powder at Michael's Craft Store in their Wilton baking section. In our store it is on a low, below knee level, shelf with the icings. Good luck!
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Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
You can find meringue powder at Michael's Craft Store in their Wilton baking section. In our store it is on a low, below knee level, shelf with the icings. Good luck!
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
You can find meringue powder at Michael's Craft Store in their Wilton baking section. In our store it is on a low, below knee level, shelf with the icings. Good luck!
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
You can find meringue powder at Michael's Craft Store in their Wilton baking section. In our store it is on a low, below knee level, shelf with the icings. Good luck!
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Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
You can find meringue powder at Michael's Craft Store in their Wilton baking section. In our store it is on a low, below knee level, shelf with the icings. Good luck!
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
Once again, royal icing made with raw egg whites is being promoted. This is not a good idea for children and elderly...for that matter would anyone in better want to risk getting sick? Why can't we find another recipe for icing? I know at one time MSL used merique (sp?) powder (not powdered egg whites) as a substitute and that is very difficult to find.
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2008
i just made a batch...i used a scant 1 tablespoon of soda and they taste very good...was concerned about the 2 T...plus, i have been using icing that i pick up at eat -n- park bakery (the icing they use for the smiley faces)..they sell it in containers if you ask them at the bakery in the restaurant. fresh.more delicious than the royal icing.. failproof. pipes perfectly. shiny. colors well. dries overnight and then you can stack it...i've been using it for all my holiday sugar cookies
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2008
I wondered about the "pumpkin" as well. I have a reciepe for "pumpkin" cookes and there is actually pumpkin in the reciepe. I might add they are great -- very moist!
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2008
The staff at MSL claims the amount of baking soda is correct, but it isn't. I've made this recipe for years and use only 2 teaspoons baking soda (I am a culinary professional). I don't know why their test kitchen does not retest this recipe and correct the amount.
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
I think the 2 T baking soda corresponds to the large amount of flour . . .
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
"There's not any pumpkin in the recipe?!?!?!" Are these serious statements by other users? Have any of you bought pumpkin pie spice? Yeah, that doesn't have any pumpkin in it either - just the spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger and mace.
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
Hasn't this recipe been corrected? I recall that someone wrote in pointing out the incorrect amount of baking soda and providing the correct amount.
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
I have to agree on some of the recipe ingredient amounts....I am areal nut for new cookie recipes and have made many many batches during my life and just instinctively know proper proportions. I have modified many recipes after following the original recipe and won't even do this one without modifying to begin with. Good Luck everybody.....
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
Sure would be nice if Martha and her elves could get the ingredients right.
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
pumpkin spice....not pumpkin cookies....it's the spices folks....not actual pumpkin..sounds like a good recipe....
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
There is 1 cup and then some more flour in this recipe than the than the spooky cookie recipe posted earlier, must be a mistake, and the spooky recipe has asked for 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder. That is a huge amount.
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
That does sound like a lot of baking soda, maybe it should be 2 teaspoons? That still is a lot of baking soda.... I think they are called "pumpkin" spice because they are shaped like pumpkins.
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
i think they're calling them pumpkin spice cookies because you're supposed to decorate them like carved pumpkins
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
Why are they called pumpkin spice cookies when there isnt any pumpkin in them? Am I missing something?
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
sounds like a lot of baking soda, you guys......is that the correct amount?
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
sounds like a lot of baking soda, you guys......is that the correct amount?
Rating: Unrated
08/29/2008
I drizzled some melted dark chocolate chips over them instead of icing them...very good!
Rating: Unrated
11/29/2007
This is a great cookie recipe even without the icing!