Cream shortening; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses; beat well.
Sift together flour, soda, and spices. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar. Place on greased baking sheets; lightly flatten balls. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes or until browned. (Tops will crack.) Place on wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.