Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, and salt. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and molasses on medium until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour until blended. Divide the dough, wrap each half in plastic, and chill until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
Position a rack in the center of the oven; heat the oven to 350°F. Lay each piece of dough between two long sheets of parchment or waxed paper. If the dough is very firm, let it sit until pliable. Roll it to about 1/8 inch thick. Peel off the top layer of paper and cut out cookies with a cookie cutter. Put the sheet of dough in the freezer for a few minutes until the dough firms enough to easily transfer the cutouts to ungreased cookie sheets (space them about 2 inches apart). Gather and reroll the scraps. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 10 to 12 min. Let cool on the sheet for 1 minute before transferring the cookies to a rack to cool.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for three to four days.
Photo: Scott Phillips