With a whisk, combine flour, spices, soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat the butter and sugars in a mixer until fluffy.
Slowly incorporate the molasses into the fluff.
Add the egg and the vanilla until just combined.
Add the bowl of dry ingredients slowly.
When the dough appears combined, use a spatula to form it into a ball.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
Dough may also be rolled into a long wax or parchment paper log and refrigerated for at least 4-6 hours.
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls with your hands
Flatten onto a parchment lined pan. (Leave a lot of space! Don’t exceed a dozen per pan! These cookies spread!)
Or, slice the log of dough into 1/8 in slices and place on parchment with liberal spacing.
Bake for just about 10 minutes.
IMMEDIATELY after removing cookies from pan, use (frog) cookie cutter to make a print in the cookie without completely slicing through.
Cool cookies on racks and make the icing.