In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, molasses, water, and peel. Beat well.
Add flour mixture and beat until well mixed. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough with cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with some pearl sugar and/or top each with an almond half.
Bake in 350 degree F oven about 8 minutes or until just brown around the edges. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 80 cookies.