Molasses Spice Cookies
1. Melt the butter in a 3-quart, heavy saucepan over low heat. (this cookie is mixed by hand in the pot). Cool to tepid.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves three times. Set aside.
3. Using a wooden spoon, stir 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, the molasses, and egg into the butter, mixing until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, one-half at a time. Blend well. Cover with wax paper and chill for 30 to 45 minutes, or until firm.
4. Position the shelves in the upper and lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Moderately butter the cookie sheets.
5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls between the palms of your hands. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a shallow dish and roll the balls of dough in the sugar. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
6. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack. Toward the end of baking time rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Loosen with a thin metal spatula and transfer to cooling racks.
Storage: store in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 3 weeks. These cookies may be frozen.