In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves nutmeg and salt.
In a large bowl or mixer cream together the shortening and brown sugar until lightened in color and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and, once fully incorporated, mix in the molasses.
Mix in dry ingredients 1/2 a cup at a time until fully combined.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F. While oven is preheating, fill a shallow bowl with sugar for rolling the cookies in.
Using a teaspoon spoon out equal sized pieces of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Roll each cookie ball in your bowl of granulated sugar then place on a baking sheet leaving 2-3 inches between each cookie.
Press one (or more, totally up to you) pieces of crystallized ginger into the tops of each cookie ball if you decide to use it.
Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until puffed up slightly.
Remove from oven and let cool before serving. Cookies will collapse a little and be covered in cracks - that's what you want!