Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar for dipping in a bowl or a rimmed plate.
Mix together flour, baking soda, spices and salt with a whisk in a medium bowl; set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle or beater blade attachment, beat butter with brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and add egg yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with a rubber spatula (not necessary if you use the beater blade with the built-in spatula). Reduce speed to lowest setting; add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl down once. Give dough a final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at the bottom of the bowl. Dough will be soft.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough and roll between palms into 1 1/2-inch ball (a heaping tablespoon). Drop ball into the bowl/plate with sugar and toss it to coat; set on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, about 11 minutes, rotating baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through baking. Cookies may look raw between the cracks and seem undone, but do not overbake them. This gives them the beloved chew.
Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container or bag at room temperature and enjoy within 5 days. I personally think you should eat at least one while it's still warm.
Source: America's Test Kitchen