In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter and molasses until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and water. Stir in flour and all remaining ingredients except currants and 1/2 cup sugar to form a smooth dough. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.
Heat oven to 350°F. On floured surface, roll out 1/3 of dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. (Keep remaining dough refrigerated.) Cut with floured 2 1/2-inch gingerbread boy or girl cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. If desired, decorate cookie cutouts with currants for eyes and buttons.
Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Sprinkle sugar over each cookie or cool completely and decorate with frosting and candies.