Here the classic, Christmasy, gingerbread men cookie cutters are repurposed to create a fun Halloween cookie. A soft, richly molasses flavored, highly spiced cookie is decorated with a sweet vanilla icing for the perfect fall treat.
For the cookies: In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together brown sugar and butter until combined. Scrape down bowl.
Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Scrape down bowl, then mix in molasses and milk.
Add flour mixture and mix until combined.
Divide dough into two equal portions and shape into a smooth round.
Roll each portion out between two sheets of parchment paper (so you'll need 4 total sheets) into an oblong shape that's 1/4-inch thick.
Transfer dough to freezer (on a cookie sheet or cutting board so it stays flat), and freeze until firm about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with one rolled dough at a time, cut dough into gingerbread men shapes using a gingerbread cookie cutter and transfer to baking sheet, spacing 1 1/2-inches apart. and bake in preheated oven 8 minutes or until puffed and nearly set.
Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining dough, while bringing together and re-rolling and freezing scraps.
For the icing: Add powdered sugar, meringue powder, water and vanilla to a medium mixing bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until well blended and slightly glossy, while adding an additional 1/2 Tbsp water to thin as needed.