For the cookies:
200g of plain flour (2 cups)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp fine seasalt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
12 TBS cold vegetable shortening (White Flora, Trex or Crisco)
190g of golden caster sugar (1 cup)
1 large free range egg
60ml of molasses (1/4 cup, can use 30ml of golden syrup and 30ml of dark treacle)
50g of demerara sugar (1/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*f/ gas mark 5. Line two baking sheets with some baking parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the salt, egg and molasses. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Add to the creamed mixture all at once. Beat on low until everything is well combined.
Working quickly take 2 TBS of dough at a time and shape into balls. (They will be about the size of a golf ball) Place the demerara sugar into a bowl. Roll the balls of dough in the sugar and place them onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each. Bake them, one cookie sheet at a time, for about 18 minutes until lightly browned on the bottoms and the tops have cracked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before stirring in an airtight container.