Flavored with molasses and warming spices, this giant soft cookie is just the thing for the holidays. To keep it tender, be sure to chill the dough thoroughly before pressing it into the skillet. Once cooled, the whole thing sparkles with sugar sprinkles and bright white icing piped in a festive design.
an extra-large spatula, a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, a piping bag and a small round pastry tip
For the skillet cookie: Whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses, vanilla and egg and beat until lighter in color, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until well combined, about 2 minutes. Press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the dough and refrigerate at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
Press the chilled dough into the skillet in an even thickness and sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Bake until golden around the edges and dry on top, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the skillet for 10 minutes, then use an extra-large spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the royal icing: Beat the confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and 4 tablespoons water in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round pastry tip. Once the cookie is completely cool, decorate with the royal icing in a snowflake pattern and sprinkle with more sugar crystals. When the icing is dry, cut the cookie into 8 wedges to serve.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)