1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Creamy White Frosting, (recipe follows)

CREAMY WHITE FROSTING
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
5 TBSP. half-and-half cream
Food color, if desired

Beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water in very large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients except Creamy White Frosting. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Roll one-fourth of dough at a time 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with floured gingerbread cookie cutter or other favorite shaped cutter. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost with Creamy White Frosting.

CREAMY WHITE FROSTING:
Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.