This recipe was handed down from my mother-in-law, who is now 89 years old. She acquired it from her landlady when she and my father-in-law were first married in 1942. We make them every Christmas, and whenever we get a craving for them. It is certainly a personal favorite, as well as a favorite of the family!
In a small bowl, combine the salt, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda; set aside. In large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and molasses and mix well. Add the flour gradually, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Dough will be very stiff (a stand mixer is helpful). Add dry ingredients from small bowl and blend thoroughly. Shape dough into 1-1/4" balls and roll in sugar to coat. Flatten slightly on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 9-10 minutes until set. When cool, store in tightly closed container.
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