To make ginger juice, Patty Erd of the Spice House in Evanston, Illinois, squishes coarsely chopped fresh ginger in a clean garlic press.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Stir in crystallized ginger; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses and egg until combined. If you like, stir in fresh ginger juice. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
Place Ginger Sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in the Ginger Sugar. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350° oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Let stand 1 hour (sugar will clump slightly from moisture in ginger). Place mixture in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl; stir gently so sugar will be separated from ginger. Discard ginger.