Preheat oven to 375F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet or spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar, egg, and molasses.
In a medium-sized bowl mix together all dry ingredients- flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. No need to overmix.
Chill dough for 1-2 hours.
Pour 1/4 cup white sugar into a small bowl.
Using a 1 1/2" cookie dough scoop, roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch round balls. You will need to roll them between you palms to get them perfectly round.
Dip the tops of the dough balls in the small bowl of white sugar. Place balls, sugar side up, on baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar top of each dough ball with 2-3 drops of water with either your fingers or a baking eye dropper.
Bake for 10-12 minutes (mine are perfect at 11 minutes) or just until cookies are set, but not hard to the touch. They will seem under baked but will firm up while cooling.
Remove cookies from baking sheet after 5-10 minutes and place on a cooking rack. Store in an airtight container on the countertop for 5-7 days or freeze for months.