To make molasses cookies, sift 4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoons cloves and 2 teaspoons each cinnamon, baking soda and ginger together. Add the dry ingredients to a mixture of 1 1/2 cup molasses, 1 egg and 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup melted shortening, and bake.
To make old-fashioned molasses cookies, mix 1/4 cup shortening, 1/2 cup each brown sugar and butter, 1 egg and 3/4 cup molasses in a large bowl. Beat the ingredients until they become creamy. Add 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon each of cloves and salt to the mixture and mix well. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, place the dough on a cookie sheet and flatten the balls using a glass dipped in sugar. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 8 to 11 minutes.
To make chewy molasses cookies, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1 egg and 1/4 cup of molasses in a bowl and mix well. Add 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon each ginger and cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the dough and mix well. Roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and dip half of each ball of cookie dough in sugar. Place the cookies onto a cookie sheet with the sugar half facing upward. Bake at 325 degrees for 13 to 16 minutes.