Equipment: Mixing bowl, electric hand mixer or sturdy wooden spoon, rolling pin, cookie cutters, baking sheets.
Directions: Beat together the butter (shortening or lard) with the sugar, then beat in the egg and coffee. Add the flour, salt and spices, blend well.
Refrigerate the dough 2-3 hours. Flour the counter top or pastry board and keep a little extra flour on hand to keep the pin from sticking to the dough. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8" thick, cut into shapes with the cookie cutter. I divide it into four portions for rolling. Grease lightly two baking sheets, preheat the oven to 350F. (I baked these in the wood stove which fluctuated between 325F and 400F.) The cookies don't spread, so place as many as will fit without touching on the baking sheets, bake about ten minutes until they are flexible but firm and maybe just lightly brown at the edges. Cool on wire racks.
If you would like, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little sugar before baking. The cookies also look nice with a butter frosting plain or tinted.