Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg until evenly incorporated.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, but longer if you can.
When ready to bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature until it has warmed enough to be pliable but still firm. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half between sheets of plastic wrap until about 1/4-1/3 inch thick. . (You could use a lightly floured surface instead of plastic wrap, but that will lighten the cookies' color.)
Cut shapes of your choosing and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake until cooked through but still a little soft, about 12-15 minutes. For a firmer cookie, cook closer to 18 minutes.
Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool, and let cool completely before coating with icing.