Soft Ginger Cookies


3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons white sugar

1 In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
2 Stir in the molasses.
3 Mix the water and baking soda and stir.
4 Sift together the flour, salt, and dry spices; add gradually to the sugar-margarine mixture.
5 Gradually stir the sifted ingredients, along with the ginger and raisins, into the molasses mixture.
6 Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
7 (The dough may be too soft to handle at this point- I suggest either adding a bit of flour, or refrigerating for 20 minutes[or even overnight]).
8 Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
9 Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.