In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until combined. Add the egg and mix until smooth. Stir in the molasses.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves in a medium bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until the dough comes together. It will be a stiff dough.
Using a 1-ounce portion scoop, portion the dough into walnut-size balls and roll in the remaining sugar. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on two baking sheets. (You should be able to bake 12 cookies per sheet.)
Bake until the cookies spread and the sugary top cracks, 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on wire racks.