3/4 cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses (regular or un-sulphured)*
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon**
1 teaspoon ground ginger**
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves**
1/4 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar (for rolling cookies in)
* Lightly grease or spray (non-stick cooking spray) your measuring cup before adding the molasses. This prevents the molasses from sticking to the cup.
** Check your ground spices (cinnamon, ginger, and cloves) to determine if they are still fresh, as stale spices will make your gingersnaps flat tasting.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg, and molasses until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt; stir or beat until well blended. Cover the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Note: Make sure your oven is fully heated before baking the cookies. They need to get hit with the full force of the heat to start the cookies baking on the outside. As the inside cooks and rises it should force the cracks in the cookie as they expand. If your oven is not getting hot enough, you may need to increase the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees for the next batch.
Lightly grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray your cookie sheets.
Place some granulated sugar in a bowl large enough to roll the cookie dough balls.
Using your hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls. Then roll the balls of dough into the granulated sugar, coating them thoroughly.
Place balls, 3 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown (cookies will puff slightly and then collapse slightly, and tops will be covered with little cracks). Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.