3 cups unbleached white flour (or 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tb. ground ginger
1 Tb. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
10 Tb. unsalted butter
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup mild molasses
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (opt.)

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.

In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.

Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Use additional flour to avoid sticking. Cut out cookies with gingerbread man cookie cutter or any other shape you desire. Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart. Bake for 7-10 minutes.

Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like. 

Sugar Cookie Icing

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
6-8 tsp. milk
4 tsp. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
food coloring (optional)

Sift powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 6 teaspoons milk, corn syrup and extract. Stir vigorously until smooth. If needed add additional milk to thin the icing to desired consistency. Add food coloring if you like.