1/2 c butter, room temp
1 c brown sugar, tightly packed
1 1/2 c. light molasses
2/3 c water or apple juice
6 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. allspice
1 egg white lightly beaten
In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add molasses and beat until blended, then mix in water.
In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice.
Gradually add to butter mixture, blending to form a stiff dough. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or until next day.
On floured board, roll out dough, a portion at a time, to a thickness of 3/16". Cut out with a 4-6" gingerbread boy cutter and with cutter still in place, transfer with a wide spatula to a lightly greased baking sheet. Lift off cutter and repeat. If desired, insert a short length of plastic drinking straw into each cookie near the top to make a hole for hanging; press straw all the way through to baking sheet. Leave straw in place while baking.
Dip rasins in egg white and press them firmly into dough to make buttons (about 3 per cookie). Move arms and legs to animate the figures.
Bake at 350 until lightly brown (10-15 min).
Transfer to racks, remove straws if used, and let cool completely.
Draw faces on cooled cookies with icing. Tie ribbon or thread through holes for hanging if desired.
Yeild ~ 4 dozen