2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling cookies
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsulphered molasses
preheat oven to 375°F. mix/sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice together in a bowl and set aside.
use an electric mixer and beat the butter for 2 minutes. add the brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed. add egg, vanilla extract, and molasses. beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
add dry ingredients and beat at low speed or mix well by hand until just combined, about 30 seconds.
place remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. working with 2 Tbs of dough each time, roll dough into 1 3/4 inch balls. roll balls in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
bake until the outer edges of the cookies begin to set and centers are soft and puffy, about 11 to 13 minutes. cool cookies on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks .
note: do not overcook! the centers of the cookies should be somewhat soft and spongy when you take them out of the oven, otherwise they will end up hard and dry.