½ cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt & baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves & nutmeg
¼ tsp. orange extract or finely chopped peel
¾ cup molasses
1 large egg or ¼ cup water
Preheat oven to 350o
Cream butter and sugar. Sift flour with salt, soda and spices. Blend flour mixture into creamed mixture alternately with molasses, extract and water or egg. Chill for at least 1 hour. Roll dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut with gingerbread cookie cutters. Lift onto lightly greased cookie sheet with spatula.
Bake oven center for about 12 minutes or until cookies spring back lightly in center. Do not overcook. Remove from sheets and cool on wire racks. Have fun decorating!