Optional decorations: confectioners' sugar icing, colored sugar, sprinkles and nonpareils
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and molasses. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and cloves; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.
Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-in. cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired. Freeze option: Freeze undecorated cookies in freezer containers. To use, thaw in covered containers and decorate as desired.
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