In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar and milk; set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add brown-sugar mixture and almonds; mix well to form a dough, using your hands. Form dough into a ball.*
To mold the dough in decorative carved wooden molds, brush cookie mold with flour so that every nook and cranny is well dusted. Press dough into mold to fill it completely; scrape off any excess dough. With the tip of a small knife, loosen dough at the edge of pattern. Turn mold over onto ungreased cookie sheet and tap to remove. Repeat with remaining dough.
To roll dough, using a patterned rolling pin, roll dough 1/4 inch thick and cut around cookies to separate. Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on a cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Makes about 72 two-inch cookies.
To slice dough, shape into two logs, each 7 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough in foil, clear plastic wrap, or waxed paper. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Slice logs about 1/4 inch thick and bake as above.
This recipe has been a family favorite for many years.