In a large bowl, mix molasses, sugar, shortening and hot water. Stir to combine
thoroughly, although shortening doesn't need to melt completely.
In a separate bowl, mix baking soda, ginger and cinnamon with 4 cups of flour.
Mix into liquids, stirring to blend well. Gradually add enough of the additional
flour to make a dough stiff enough to roll.
Chill for 1-2 hours before baking.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
Roll out dough to about 1/6-inch thick and cut shapes with your favorite cookie
Bake for 8-11 minutes until done.
Cool completely and frost with decorative frosting.
To make frosting, beat egg whites until frothy, then beat in sugar and vanilla
Yields 7-10 dozen, depending on size of cookie cutters.
Cookies can also be dusted with decorative sugar or sprinkles prior to