1Grease a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Preheat oven to 350.
2Cream the butter and sugar til fluffy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating as you add the molasses.
3Measure the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and sift together into the batter. Mix the batter gently until well mixed and no trace of dry ingredients remains. Stir in the raisins and nuts, if desired, by hand. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
4Bake for 22 minutes or til a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with only crumbs, not batter, sticking to it. The edges should be starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Note: I used and 8 x 8 inch pan and had to add about 5 minutes more cooking time, but that's just me. If I would have used a 9 x 9 inch pan, maybe the 22 minutes would have been fine.
5Remove from oven and cool on rack for 1 hour. Cut just before serving. Makes 12 to 16 bars.