Soft Ginger Cookies

From 6 Bittersweets
Adapted from Cookie Madness
Makes about 34 medium cookies

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut up, still firm
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
2 1/2 cups all purpose or white whole wheat flour (11.1 oz) – spoon and sweep
(Increased from the original since I used all butter and the dough was too soft)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup sparkly sugar(I just used granulated)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready two or three large cookie sheets lined with parchment or silicone sheets.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. Continue beating for another minute. Beat in egg, vanilla and molasses.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, soda, salt and remaining spices. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until mixed.

Shape dough into balls approximately 1 inch across. Roll the balls in sparkly (or granulated) sugar. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake one sheet at a time on center rack of oven for about 12 minutes. Cookies should appear cracked on top but still slightly soft.