3 tabs. shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 teas. baking soda
3/4 cup water
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon of cloves, ginger and cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy, stir in molasses. Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir them into shortening mixture in 3 parts alternating with a 1/4 cup of water each time. Dough will be stiff. Refrigerate overnight.
Cut dough into 3 pieces. Knead to warm dough slightly, then roll each piece out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookie out with a gingerbread pattern of your choice.
Use a drinking straw to punch hole in center if ornament will be hanging. Place cookies on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes, turn oven off and let cool in oven.
Remove from cookie sheet and place on rack to dry for about 3 days to totally harden. These cookies are purely for decorative purposes and not to be eaten. If you wish you can seal cookies with 3 coats of clear acrylic and decorate with colorful acrylic pains when dry.