Mix together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, allspice and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the molasses until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and gradually add the butter. Next add the sugar and then add the water. Stir in egg, blending completely. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the molasses mixture. Blend completely. Turn mixture of dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, do not over knead. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Before rolling out cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil cookie sheet or use parchment paper. Lightly flour surface; roll out half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out cookies and place them 1/2-inch apart. Bake cookies until they rise, about 10 minutes, cool on rack and then decorate.;
In large bowl, combine all ingredients except food coloring. Mix at high speed until thick and shiny. Divide into small bowls for different consistencies and colors. This can be painted or piped.
*RAW EGG WARNING
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.
Recipe courtesy of Linda Bailey