Crisp, sugar-dusted leaves and acorns celebrate the fall season.
Makes 4 dozen
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup dark unsulfured molasses
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk together flour, cocoa, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg, molasses, and grated ginger; mix until combined. Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until just combined.
- Halve dough; flatten into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour. Transfer disks, one at a time, to a lightly floured surface; roll out to 1/4 inch thick. (If dough gets soft, freeze until firm.) Use 3-inch acorn or leaf cookie cutters to make shapes; place 1 inch apart on sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Score designs with a knife; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are firm, 11 to 13 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.