Cream butter and sugar. I use my kitchen aide mixer.
Add the spices. Add in ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, salt, and eggs and molasses.
Add the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder to the top of the mixing bowl. Stir to combine the dry ingredients and then mix into the other ingredients.
Chill the dough. Divide the dough into 3 balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. The dough can be frozen at this step and saved for later.
Bake the cookies. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. They will puff up in the oven. Use the cookie cutter and cut out your desired shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Allow to cool. I like to use a wired rack before decorating. Make sure the cookies are fully cooled before you start icing them.
Decorate. Top the gingerbread cookies with royal icing. You could add Christmas sprinkles too if you want. My favorite way to decorate them is to just drizzle the icing all over the cookie in lots of squiggles. It’s absolutely festive but super easy.