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1. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough portions to 1/4 inch thickness. Using a variety of bird-shape cookie cutters, cut dough into bird shapes. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until centers are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Repeat with the remaining dough portion.
5. When cool, brush tops of a few cookies lightly with corn syrup. While still wet, sprinkle with black decorating sugar or edible glitter. Add small yellow and green candies for beaks and eyes. Set aside to dry. Repeat with the remaining cookies.