I am a heavy user of spices in all my cooking, including baking. Gingerbread, with its mixture of warming spices, is a favorite holiday treat. Gingerbread cookies typically come out hard and dry, serving more as vehicles for decoration rather than something you would want to eat. The exception are the soft, cake-like cookies that I’ve occasionally encountered through my childhood: that’s what I wanted to make.
Fortunately, it wasn’t hard to find the recipe from Cooks’ Illustrated. The original version creates a huge batch, but I’ve modified it for a small family.