Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves, cardamom and salt to combine.
Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla to the creamed butter mixture and beat on low/medium speed until smooth and combined.
On low speed, add the flour mixture in few additions. The dough will be soft and a bit sticky.
Refrigerate in a covered bowl for a minimum of two hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or use nonstick baking sheets.
Use an ice-cream scooper or a slightly heaping tablespoon to portion the dough. Roll each cookie into a 1-inch ball between your hands, then roll lightly in the white granulated sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets. Make sure to leave enough space between the balls, as they'll flatten out to twice their size.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough balls would flatten and develop a crinkly crust, but will still be flexible. Gently remove to rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.
Recipe courtesy of Ron Ben-Israel