Meloni Courway’s Spice Molasses Gingerbread Cookies

(to leave out for the big guy in red)
Makes 40 medium cookies
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon clove
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 ½ cups molasses
2 large eggs
¼ cup buttermilk
1 pound confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons pasteurized dried egg white powder
1/3 Cup water (plus more as needed)
1. In a medium sized bowl combine and whisk, flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or in a large deep bowl with a hand mixer, combine butter, shortening, brown sugar and lemon zest. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add molasses and beat again for 1 minute. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add buttermilk and beat briefly. Now add flour mixture in 3 parts, beating slowly after each addition. A stiff dough will form.
3. Divide dough into 3 batches and wrap each in saran wrap and then flatten into disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Remove dough from fridge one piece at a time. Working on generously floured piece of parchment paper already positioned on a sheet pan, roll dough until ¼ inch thick. Brush off extra flour and pop into freezer for 10 minutes.
5. Remove dough and cut desired shapes. Place cutouts onto new parchment lined sheet and bake for 6 minutes, rotate, then bake another 4-6 minutes, or until beginning to crisp, but not get dark on the edges.
6. Using extra dough, re-roll and chill until all dough is used.
Let baked cookies cool before icing.
*For a cookie ornament, poke small hole through top of cookie with a dowel, small end of a pastry tip, or pencil before baking.
7. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat sugar, egg powder, and 1/3 cup water until smooth. If mixture is too dry and lumpy add a bit more water, teaspoon at a time. If it is too thin, whip for 2-3 minutes and add more sugar as needed.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.