Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or waxed paper.
Place the butter and 1 c. of the sugar in medium size bowl and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg and molasses and beat until combined, about 1 minute.
Whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until smooth.
Roll pieces of dough between palms to form 1" balls. Lightly dip top of balls in remaining 1/2 c. of sugar. Arrange balls on waxed sheet- sugar side up, 2" apart.
Bake until very fragrant and cracks appear on top 8-12 minutes.
After cooling on baking racks cookies can be stored for up to 1 month.