1. Onto waxed paper, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
2. In large bowl of freestanding mixer, beat shortening and butter on low speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar; beat on moderate speed 1 minute. Blend in egg, molasses and vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl frequently with rubber spatula to keep batter even textured. On low speed, add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating just until particles of flour are absorbed. Blend in ginger. Dough will be stiff and somewhat sticky.
3. Scrape dough onto large sheet of plastic wrap. Using rubber spatula, flatten into shallow cake. Wrap up dough, place in baking pan and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll into balls; or, refrigerate dough for 2 to 3 hours or until its manageable. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
4. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper. (Cookie sheets need to be heavy to avoid over-baking or scorching the bottom of cookies. Use one sheet on top of another, if necessary.)
5. Place decorator sugar for rolling in shallow bowl. For each cookie, shape 1 level tablespoon into a ball. Roll in the decorator sugar. Place balls, 3 inches apart, on sheets, 9 per sheet. Dough will spread as it bakes.
6. Bake in 375 degrees F oven 12 minutes, until set. As cookies bake, they will puff up, then flatten out; surfaces will appear crackly and crinkly. Let stand on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks. Let cool. Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 to 4 days.