1. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until fluffy.
2. Stir together baking soda and 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved; stir in molasses.
3. Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture alternately with molasses mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Shape mixture into a ball; cover and chill 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough with a 4-inch gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
5. Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).
6. Spoon Royal Icing into a small zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole; pipe faces on cookies, or spread cookies with Buttermilk Frosting. Decorate cookies as desired with candies and sugar crystals.
Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies: Prepare recipe as directed, cutting dough with a 1- to 2 1/2-inch snowflake-shaped cutter. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13 to 17 minutes. Cool and decorate as directed. Makes: about 9 dozen. Hands-on time: 1 hr.; Total time: 4 hr., 50 min., including icing and frosting.
2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded on a box grater
1 medium onion, coarsely shredded on a box grater
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1/4 cup matzo meal
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Vegetable oil, for frying
Applesauce, sour cream, smoked salmon and salmon roe, for serving
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
In a colander set over a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the onion and squeeze dry. Let the potatoes and onion drain for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour off the liquid in the bowl, leaving the starchy paste at the bottom. Add the potatoes and onion, along with the eggs, scallions, matzo meal, butter, salt, pepper and baking powder; mix well.
In a large skillet, heat an 1/8-inch layer of oil until shimmering. Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of the latke batter into the skillet about 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with a spatula. Fry the latkes over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the latkes to paper towels to drain, then transfer to a platter. Repeat to make the remaining latkes, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, smoked salmon and salmon roe.