1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour PLUS 1/8 cup
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
3/4 tsp. egg replacer
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons soymilk
Using an electric or standing mixer, cream together shortening, molasses, sugar, water, and egg replacer for approximately two minutes on high speed. You will notice a change in the texture of the dough; the shortening will be bubbly throughout the molasses, mixed and not separated. Add the flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda, and soymilk. If your dough is crumbly, continue adding soymilk one tablespoon at a time. To test, roll a hunk of dough in your hands. If it smooths out and doesn't stick to your skin you should be good. I've never had to add more than what's listed in the recipe, though.
Let your dough chill, covered, for an hour in the refrigerator.
On a well floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the to your desired thickness. You don't want them too thin, but too thick is a problem as well. Aim for 1/8" thickness. You may need to brush a bit of flour on top of the dough so your rolling pin doesn't stick. Cut into shapes and place evenly on a nonstick cookie sheet.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will puff slightly. There's no need to overcook; there aren't any eggs to cook the bacteria out of. Let cool for about 3 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish.
Let cool completely before frosting!
Makes 24-40 cookies (depending on the size of your cutters). When I made these trees I got about 36.