Cut up a pound of butter in a quart of West India molasses, which must be perfectly sweet; sugar -house molasses will make it hard and heavy. Warm it slightly, just enough to melt the butter. Crush with the rolling-pin, on the paste-board, half a pound of brown sugar, and add it by degrees to the molasses and butter: then stir in three table-spoonfuls of ginger, a large tea-spoonful of powdered cloves, and a tea-spoonful of pow dered cinnamon. Add gradually sufficient flour to make a dough stiff enough to roll out easily; and lastly, a small tea-spoonful of pearl-ash melted in a little sour milk. Mix and stir the dough very hard with a spaddle, or a wooden spoon; but do not knead it. Then divide it with a knife into equal portions; and, having floured your hands, roll it out on the paste-board into long even strips. Place them in shallow tin pans, that have been buttered; either laying the strips side by side in straight round sticks, (uniting them at both ends,) or coil them into rings one within another, as you see them at the cake shops. Bake them in a brisk oven, taking care that they do not burn; gingerbread scorching sooner than any other cake.
To save time and trouble, you may roll out the dough into a sheet near an inch thick, and cut it into round flat cakes with a tin cutter, or with the edge of a tumbler.
Ground ginger loses much of its strength by keeping. Therefore it will be frequently found necessary to put in more than the quantity given in the receipt.