Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat shortening until soft, 1 minute.
Gradually add sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and molasses until well-blended.
Stir in flour mixture until completely mixed.
Place a little sugar in a medium bowl.
Scoop out heaping teaspoonfuls of mixture.
Using your palms, roll into 3/4-inch balls and drop into the sugar.
Roll to cover the surgace completely; then place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake until cookies are slightly rounded and tops appear lightly browned and crackles.
Remove baking sheets to wire racks to cool slightly.
The, using a metal pancake turner or palette knife, remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
Repeat with remaining cookie dough and sugar.
Store in airtight containers.
First published: 1996-01-27 last updated: 2014-08-02
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