In large bowl, combine first 7 ingredients, and mix well. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl beat together with electric mixer on medium speed the sugar and shortening until fluffy; add the molasses and water, mixing well. Stir in the flour mixture until just mixed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
Roll about 1/4 of the dough 1/4-inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with a floured gingerbread cutter or other shaped cutters. Place about 2-inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Decorate with colored frosting, sugar and candies as desired.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
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