Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Cover two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the molasses.
Combine the dry ingredients. Add them to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with a total of 1/4 cup water.
Form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic, and chill for at least half an hour.
Flour a surface and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with gingerbread man and woman cutters and place 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet. Add chocolate chips for eyes, mouths, and buttons before baking, or leave plain to decorate later.
Bake for 8 minutes or until edges start to brown.
Cool on a wire rack. Add additional decorations if desired using your favorite icing recipe.