Preparation / Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Have ungreased baking sheet(s) ready. Sift together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt; set aside.
2. Beat the butter and 1 cup of the granulated sugar in large bowl of an electric mixer on high speed until light, 1 minute. Add the egg and molasses; mix well. Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture. Mix just until combined.
3. Using about 1 1/2 teaspoons dough for each, roll dough into balls. Roll in the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar so they are fully coated. Arrange on baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. If you prefer a thin, crisp cookie, they may be flattened with a glass that has been dipped in sugar.
4. Bake until set, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
First-place winner in the 1995 Chicago Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest: by Colleen Ries