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Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening, brown sugar and molasses.
Whisk in egg; set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring carefully to fully combine. (You may wish to gather the dough in your hands to continue mixing as the dough is a little stiff.)
Shape dough into small balls and roll in turbinado sugar, if you like.
Transfer to baking sheets, arranging balls 1 inch apart.
Gently press down on each with your finger tips to spread them out slightly.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, then remove cookies from oven and set aside to let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely, then store in an air-tight container.