Combine flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl; sift, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar. Beat, starting on low speed and increasing to high, until mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes; scrape the sides of the bowl down once with a rubber spatula. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla; beat on medium speed until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Turn off mixer. Add molasses, and mix on medium speed until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl, and add dry ingredients. Mix, starting on low speed and increasing to medium high, until ingredients are just combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to a clean work surface. Roll the dough into 4 (1 1/2-inch-diameter) logs. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. 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.
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Yield: about 2 1/2 cups Note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, young children, or anyone whose health is compromised.
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.
(c)2002 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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