I was never a big gingerbread fan until I tried a recipe from Tartine, which I used as a base here. The addition of black pepper makes this gingerbread have a real kick, so I decided to take that up a couple extra notches by making an orange glaze and adding bourbon to the cookie dough since it complements molasses beautifully. You can make these into small round cookies or the classic men...or, if you're like me and like to buy those $1 cookie cutters from Sur La Table, you can make wiener dog cookies! —JessicaBakes
Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. For the pepper, I found it easiest to just grind into a bowl and scoop it out with the measuring spoons. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Slowly add the sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth and soft. Add the egg and orange zest and mix well. Add the molasses and corn syrup and beat until incorporated. Throughout this process, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowls to make sure everything is getting mixed evenly. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until a dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl and everything is well incorporated. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on some plastic wrap, press it out to be a disk about 1-inch thick, wrap and place in the fridge overnight (or just 8 hours).
After chilling, remove the dough, give it a couple minutes to get malleable and, while waiting, lightly flour your work surface, line some baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gingerbread gets very sticky very quickly, so consider yourself warned--work quickly!
There are a couple of options you can choose from here. One is that you don't roll it out at all--just make small cookies by rolling it out in your hands, pressing it down and baking like that. If you want designs, roll the dough out to 1/3" thickness and cut as desired. Because the cookies will be glazed, designs in the top of the cookies look beautiful and are recommended!
Bake for 7-15 minutes, depending on whether your rolled your dough out or hand-rolled. Look for slightly darker edges and a tender middle.
Once your first batch is in the oven, make the glaze in a small bowl by whisking together the powdered sugar, bourbon and orange juice. Once the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool for about 7-10 minutes before lightly glazing them with a pastry brush.