|Sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Light molasses||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Ground ginger||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Ground allspice||1 Teaspoon|
|Ground cinnamon||1 Teaspoon|
|Ground cloves||1 Teaspoon|
|Baking soda||2 Teaspoon|
|Butter/Margarine||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), cut into pieces (1 Stick)|
|Egg||1 Large, beaten|
|All purpose flour||3 1⁄2 Cup (56 tbs)|
|Frosting||1 Tablespoon (Ornamental Variety)|
1. In 3-quart saucepan, combine sugar, molasses, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves; heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon. Remove pan from heat; stir in baking soda (mixture will foam up in pan). Add butter; stir until melted. Stir in egg, then flour.
2. On floured surface, knead dough until thoroughly blended. Divide dough in half; wrap one piece in waxed paper and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 325°F. With floured rolling pin, roll remaining piece of dough slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. With floured 3- to 4-inch assorted cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; reserve trimmings for rerolling. Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on two ungreased large cookie sheets. If desired, with drinking straw or skewer, make 1/4-inch hole in the top of each cookie for hanging.
4. Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 12 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower oven racks halfway through baking. With wide spatula, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and trimmings.
5. When cookies are cool, prepare Ornamental Frosting. Use frosting to decorate cookies as desired. Allow frosting to dry completely, about 1 hour.