Courtesy of Ashley English, from her book Handmade Gatherings (Roost Books, 2014)
(Yields 3½ dozen)
3½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. medium-grind black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely minced
Granulated sugar for rolling cookie dough balls
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, allspice, and cloves. Set aside. Beat together butter and brown sugar in an electric mixer until the blend becomes pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add egg and molasses. Beat until fully blended, scraping down the bowl and beaters. Add the flour and spice mixture in one-cup increments. Beat until everything is fully combined, about 20-30 seconds. Add crystallized ginger and beat just until fully incorporated into the dough. Transfer the cookie dough to a lidded container. Refrigerate for one to two hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and shape it into one-inch balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar. Place balls about one-inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking time, until the cookies begin to crackle on top and slightly puff up. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack, then transfer to a lidded container.