2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c dark brown sugar
1/3 c granulated sugar, + 1/2 c for rolling
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c mild or robust molasses
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda and spices in a bowl.
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in molasses until incorporated about 30 seconds, scraping bowl often as needed. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Dough will be soft.
Spread remaining 1/2 c granulated sugar in shallow dish. Working with 2 Tbsp dough at a time, roll into balls with dampened hands, then roll in sugar to coat; space dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets.
(Dough balls can be frozen for up to one month, bake frozen dough balls in 300F oven for 30-35 minutes. )
Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, for 10-12 minutes until edges are set but centres are still soft, puffy and cracked (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone). Rotate sheet half way through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 10 minutes.
Serve warm or transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
from The Perfect Cookie cookbook, via Deirdre Greenwood White.