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 with Royal Icing.
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.
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Recipe courtesy of Linda Bailey