1 In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
2 In a large mixing bowl beat butter, margarine, or shortening with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add the 1 cup sugar; beat until fluffy. Add the egg and molasses; beat well. Stir dry mixture into egg mixture.
3 Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (1 heaping tablespoon dough each). Roll balls in the 2 tablespoons sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart.
4 Bake in a 350° oven about 10 minutes or until light brown but still puffed. (Do not overbake.) Let stand on cookie sheets for 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack and let cool