2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp. scraped seeds from a vanilla bean (or substitute 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
11/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
Grated zest from 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a bowl, combine first five ingredients. In a stand mixer, combine molasses, vanilla, ginger, egg, brown sugar, and butter, and beat on low speed until mixture is a bit fluffy (this can be done by hand). Add flour mixture and slowly combine.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (or you can grease it with melted butter) and scoop out the dough into balls with a cookie scoop if you have it, or an ice cream scoop or large spoon; just make sure they are uniform. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until the cookies are browned but still soft.
Place them on a cooling rack. Sprinkle the orange zest on top. Let the cookies rest for a few hours or a day before serving.