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Frosty Christmas Tree Cookies

3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp.salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. gound cloves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
coloured decorating sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. cocoa
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
sugar icing (recipe follows>

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Lay aside.
Beat butter, sugar, egg and molasses in a large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy-light. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or foil; refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 359*F. Roll out dough, 1/3 at a time, on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out with floured large Christmas tree cutter. Brush off excess flour; place cookies on lightly greased cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather up scraps for second rolling.
Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350*) for 8 minutes or until edges are browned. Let cookies cool a few minutes on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks with a spatula; cool completely. Dip small clean brush into Sugar Icing and "paint" cookies. Sprinkle with coloured sugars.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Sugar Icing

Combine 1 pkg. (1 lb.) confectioners' sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/3 cup water in a medium bown; stir until smooth. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until icing is spoonable and flows easily.
Makes about 2 cups.

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