Set the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350º
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl; stir well to mix.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together on medium speed the butter and 1 cup sugar for about 5 minutes until very light, fluffy, and whitened.
Add the egg and continue beating until smooth.
Lower the speed and beat in half the dry ingredients, then the molasses.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater.
Beat in the remaining dry ingredients.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to finish mixing the dough.
Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow bowl.
Use a small ice cream scoop to form 1 inch diameter pieces of dough.
Roll the pieces into balls between the palms of your hands then roll them in the sugar.
Place the balls on dough on the prepared pans, leaving about 3 inches all around each to allow for spreading.
Bake the cookies for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they have spread, colored, the surface has crackled, and they are firm to the touch.
Slide the papers from the pans too racks.
The cookies become crisp as they cool.
Store the cooled cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight fitting cover.