The cookies are thin, unusually moist and chewy, and spiced to perfection.
2-1/2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup light and mild molasses
1 to 2 cups granulated sugar (to roll the cookies in)
Adjust a rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or with aluminum foil, shiny side up, and set aside.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the egg and molasses and beat until perfectly smooth. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and beat on low speed only until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl for ease in handling.
Place 1 to 2 cups of granulated sugar on a dinner plate.
Spread out a length of aluminum foil or wax paper.
Form the dough into 22 mounds using a rounded teaspoonful of dough for each cookie; place them any which way on the foil or wax paper.
(The dough will be very soft. It must be handled gently!) Pick up a mound and roll it between your hands into a ball; place it on the sugar. Repeat a few times, placing a few mounds on the sugar. Roll them, one at a time, to coat all over, and place them 3 inches apart on a lined sheet. Sprinkle additional sugar generously on top of each mound. (Remaining sugar may be strained and returned to your sugar container.)
Bake one sheet at a time for 8-1/2 minutes, reversing the sheet front to back once during baking. The cookies will not look done - but they are best if they are soft and not crisp. Do not overbake.
Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a minute or so, then transfer them with a wide spatula to a rack to cool.
Repeat until all the cookies are baked.
Store the cookies in an airtight container. These must be stored flat or they will lose their shape.
Makes about 22 cookies.