3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses (I prefer black-strap, because it makes them darker and complements the ginger nicely)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger (3 tsp if you like extra ginger flavour)
extra white sugar
Cream butter and sugar in one bowl. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl, then blend gradually into wet ingredients. If dough is very soft, cover and place in fridge for 10 minutes or so. Shape into 1" balls, dip in water, then into extra white sugar (water helps the sugar stick).
Place 2" apart on greased baking sheet. Bake in 350 F oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes (because they are too soft to remove from the pan) then place on cooling racks to finish cooling.
This makes about 6 dozen cookies, less if you make them bigger. These keep for about a week, so don't feel bad about eating them all up quickly!