2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in medium bowl.
Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg, molasses, and grated ginger; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined.
Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic; refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. (If dough becomes too soft at any time, freeze until firm.) Cut out shapes with 3-inch acorn- or leaf-shaped cookie cutters; space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
Score designs with a paring knife; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until firm, 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
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