Prep and Cook Time: about 1 1/2 hours, plus at least 4 hours to chill. Notes: To grind the almonds, whirl in a blender or food processor. You can store these cookies airtight for up to 2 days.
1/2 cup butter (1/4 lb.), at room temperature
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light molasses
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
About 1/2 cup slivered almonds (3 oz.), finely ground, plus slivered almonds for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger
How to Make It
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, shortening, and sugar until smooth; beat in molasses and lemon peel until well blended.
In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; stir into butter mixture until completely incorporated. Stir in almonds and candied ginger.
Divide dough into thirds. Shape each third into a roll about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; wrap rolls in waxed paper and chill until firm, at least 4 hours, or up to 1 week.
Unwrap dough. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place slices about 1 inch apart on buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. If desired, gently press a slivered almond into the middle of each cookie.
Bake cookies in a 350° oven until edges are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.