1 cup Molasses
1 cup Sugar
4 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
3 teaspoons Ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Ground cloves
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
1 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
1 Egg yolk mixed with:
1 teaspoon Water
Icing for decorating
Beat margarine, sugar and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Add egg and mix well.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture; mix well.
Divide dough into 4 equal portions on a large piece of plastic wrap.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Working with 1 disk of the dough at a time, roll out on a well-floured board, dusting the rolling pin as you work.
Dough will be very soft and can be difficult to work with so work quickly and use plenty of flour. Using cookie cutters dipped in flour, cut into desired shapes. Put cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Use currants o rcandy for eyes or buttons, if desired.
Bake until lightly puffed, 7 to 10 minutes.
While still warm, paint with egg yolk wash if desired. Cool on wire racks. Cool completely, then decorate as desired with icing.
Icing: Mix confectioners' sugar with a small amount of water until thick and spreading consistency. Add food coloring if desired and put in a small plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner and drizzle icing out onto the cooled cookies.