1 tablespoon water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cups melted butter
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Beat the egg, water, and sugar until light in color.
Add the melted butter and beat until it is all mixed in and not greasy looking.
Add the spices, molasses, baking soda, and salt, and mix well.
Add the flour and mix until it is just blended.
Drop by large spoonfulls onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. (I like to use a 3-tablespoon disher.)
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are cracked and slightly browned.
Don't over-bake if you want them to be chewy.
If you want to make the roll-out gingerbread people, add an extra 1/4 cup of flour and chill the dough for 1/2 an hour before rolling out. Then they will behave like standard gingerbread cookies. But they won't bake up as chewy and the crystallized ginger will make them a little lumpy, but still manageable if you've chopped the pieces small enough.