1 ½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon freshly grated peeled ginger
½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
½ cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons boiling water
7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, in ¼ inch chunks
¼ cup granulated sugar
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and ginger on medium speed until lightened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
2. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn onto plastic wrap. Pat out to a 1-inch thickness; seal with wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Roll dough into 1 ½-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Chill 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until surfaces just begin to crack, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely.
MAKES 2 DOZEN