In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, molasses and brown sugar sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times for about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and egg; beat until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add dry ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on low until the mixture starts to come together; increase speed to medium and beat until all the flour is worked into the dough.
Remove dough from the bowl and divide it into two parts. Wrap the two dough balls in plastic wrap and form into two disks. Set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
When you are ready to roll your cookies, remove the dough from the fridge, set it on the counter to to come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
Lightly flour your work surface and the disc of dough on both sides. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about ¼ inch thickness.
Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
Now use your desired cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. Place the cookie cut outs onto your prepared baking sheets as you go.
**Tip: If you find you cut outs are sticking to the cookie cutters, give yourself a little pile of flour off to the side and stick your cookie cutters into the flour before you work your way to cutting out the dough.
Arrange your cookie cut outs so there is about 1 inch of space between each, tightly wrap your pans with plastic wrap and set them in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. (This is not 100% necessary, but it will just help to ensure your cookie cut outs have nice clean edges when they bake)
Once your cookie cut outs have chilled, place the racks in the center rack of your oven and bake for 8-9 minutes or until you see the edges of the cookies are just starting to go golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
*** Make ahead tip: Because this recipe makes a large batch of cookies, once you have cut them all out, you could set half of them on a parchment lined baking sheet, tightly wrap with plastic wrap and set in the freezer to bake off on a different day.
Cream Cheese Frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth and there are no lumps. Add in 2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat on low until the powdered sugar is completely worked in. Add in vanilla and another cup of icing sugar; beat on low for one minute and then turn mixer to high and beat for 4-5 minutes until fluffy.
If you find that your frosting is a bit too soft, add in another ½ cup of powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. If you find that your frosting is too stiff, just add in 1-2 tbsp of milk, and beat until smooth.
If you wish to add festive food colouring to your icing, simply divide your icing into a few different bowls and add a couple drops of desired colour to each bowl and mix with a spoon until combined.
Spoon icing into a piping bag fitted with desired piping tip. (I used two bags; one fitted with a small round piping tip and a small star tip.)
Now have some fun piping festive decorations onto your cookies and enjoy eating them!