2 to 3 tablespoons lime, orange or lemon juice, at room temperature
Crystallized ginger cut into 1/8-inch bits, optional
In a large bowl, whisk together first 8 ingredients; set aside.
Place crystallized ginger in a food processor with a metal blade. Pulse to coarsely
Add brown sugar and zest, and process until ginger is finely chopped and incorporated
into the sugar.
Combine butter and sugar-ginger mixture in a bowl; cream together until light
Add molasses; beat to combine.
Add egg; beat to combine.
Add dry ingredients, and mix to combine.
Divide dough into 2 equal portions and drop onto large sheets of plastic wrap.
Flatten into disks about one inch thick and wrap tightly.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or butter
the sheets. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface, 1 portion at a time (keep
remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8- to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut into shapes. Place
one inch apart on baking sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes.
Cool cookies on pan for about 8 minutes.
Transfer directly onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Re-roll dough scraps and cut out more cookies.
To make icing, combine butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Beat
at low speed, gradually adding juice until the desired consistency.
Decorate completely cooled cookies as desired using small bits of candied ginger
for eyes and buttons.