Preheat oven 375°F.
In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; mix well. Melt shortening in large saucepan. Cool slightly. Add sugar, molasses and eggs; mix well. Add four cups of the dry ingredients; mix again.
Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make the dough firm.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out cookies with cookie cutters.
Bake 6-10 minutes for small to medium size cookies and 10-15 minutes for large cookies.
If you´re not going to use your gingerbread right away, wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate. Refrigerated dough will keep for a week, but be sure to remove it 3 hours prior to rolling so it softens and is workable.
Substitute 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup for molasses to make Blonde Gingerbread.
YIELD: Makes about 40 medium-sized cookies.