Cream butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl; beat until well blended. Add sugar and molasses, beating well.
Dissolve soda in water, stirring well. Sift together 2 cups flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium mixing bowl; add to creamed mixture alternately with dissolved soda, beginning and ending with flour-spice mixture. Stir well after each addition. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough; stir after each addition until well blended.
Divide dough in half; wrap each half in waxed paper, and chill overnight.
Remove waxed paper from one portion of dough; let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes. (Keep remaining dough chilled until ready to use.) Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a well-floured surface; cut with a fluted 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 6 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets, and cool on wire racks. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.
Oxmoor House Homestyle Recipes
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