In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening, softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes at medium speed). Add the egg and molasses and beat in until smooth and creamy.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low until the mixture comes together as a moist dough. Remove dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350F, with the rack in the centre of the oven.
Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure, take a scoop of the dough and form into a 1 1/2-inch diameter ball (check the size of the first one and then make the remaining ones the same size). Roll the ball in white granulated sugar and place onto an un-greased baking or cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Repeat forming balls and rolling in sugar until your baking sheet is full. Cover and refrigerate any remaining dough to make another batch later.
Bake in preheat oven for about 14-15 minutes. Cookies will look puffy, but will deflate as they cool. Remove from oven, let stand about 1 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies should not have spread much, should be thick and the inside should be dry and set. If the centre of the cookie is moist, adjust the baking time, adding more time, as necessary.
I highly recommend using the mixture of butter and vegetable shortening for these cookies. The shortening contributes to nice soft and thick cookies, while the butter brings in some nice flavour. If you don't have shortening, you can use all butter, in the same amount, though the texture of the cookie will be slightly different. Likewise, you could use all shortening here, though the it will affect the flavour slightly.
I like to bake a test cookie before baking an entire batch of cookies. Bake one cookie, allow to cool completely and then taste test. The insides of the cookie should be moist, but set and not too wet If the insides are too wet, increase the baking time a minute or so.The cookies should be soft and not crispy. If crispy at all, reduce the baking time.If the cookies spread too much and are thin and crispy, they dough needs more flour. If the cookies don't spread properly, the dough has too much flour.Be sure to read the Ingredient and Cook's Notes above this recipe card, for more information on making this recipe.Be sure to read the Ingredient Notes and Baker's Tips above this Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe. You'll also find Step-by-Step photos there, as well.