Mormon Molasses Spice Cookies

6 ounces (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/4 cup dark unsulphured molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the molasses and vanilla. Set aside to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with 1 cup of the sugar, the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk to combine.
3. Add the beaten egg to the cooled butter mixture and mix well with a fork. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until firm enough to form balls, about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Place the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Scoop out walnut-size pieces of the dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Toss the balls in the sugar to coat completely and place on ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the centers no longer appear raw. (At 12 minutes you'll have soft and chewy cookies; at 15 they'll be crisp.) Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Note: Makes 4 dozen. For large cookies, double the size of the balls and bake a little longer. As they bake, they puff up, heave a sigh, and then collapse as flat as can be. They get that nice cracked top like an old-fashioned ginger snap. Be careful not to overbake these cookies, burnt molasses is bitter.
~*~ From the Got Milk? Cookie Book ~*~