* 5 to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 1/4 cups unsulphured molasses*
* 2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven 375°F. Thoroughly mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Melt shortening in large saucepan. Cool slightly. Add sugar, molasses and eggs; mix well. Add four cups of the dry ingredients and mix again.
Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make the dough firm. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out cookies with Metal Gingerbread Boy and Girl Cookie Cutters.
Bake 6-10 minutes for small to medium size cookies and 10-15 minutes for large cookies.
If you're not going to use your gingerbread right away, wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate. Refrigerated dough will keep for a week, but be sure to remove it 3 hours prior to rolling so it softens and is workable.
*Substitute 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup for molasses to make Blonde Gingerbread.
Makes 40 medium-sized cookies.