The cream cheese frosting also works for cakes, or you could also use it as a delicious dip for strawberries or graham crackers. Mmm....
Ingredients for the Gingerbread Cookies:
3 c flour, plus more for rolling
2 t ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t salt
3/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c molasses
1 t vanilla extract
Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
In another large bowl (I used my stand mixer), mix the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Then add molasses, egg, and vanilla extract, and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients until everything is well mixed. Take the dough out of the bowl, and flatten it a little bit, into a thick disk between two sheets of plastic wrap. Put the whole thing in the fridge, and let it chill out for at least 4 hours, or overnight if you're tired...
When the dough is ready, it will be pretty stiff. If it crumbles a little bit, don't worry, it will go back together as you work with it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and roll out the cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface. As the dough warms, it becomes stickier, so don't be afraid to add more flour to the work surface. I had to add a lot, but don't worry, it won't compromise the flavor. Cut the dough into cookie shapes with your favorite cookie cutters, and place them on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges juuuuuuust start to brown. If you've ever heard the story of the Gingerbread Man, you know not to open the oven door early! When you do take them out, let them cool on the pan for just a minute, and them move them to a wire rack. If you leave them on the pan, they may stick and become almost impossible to get off the pan in one piece. Let them cool completely before even thinking about frosting them. Trust me. Their sad, melty little faces will fill you with guilt if you frost them while they're still warm.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c butter, softened
3 c powdered sugar
2 t vanilla extract
Mix together butter and cream cheese. Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and mix everything together until the texture is consistent.
I scooped it into a ziplock bag, cut off a corner, and piped it onto the cookies. And then I ate all the leftover frosting with a spoon because it's flipping delicious!