Position a rack in the middle of the oven.Preheat the oven to 350*.line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon,ginger and cloves into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended.about 1 minute.
stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
on low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.
spread the 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 tsp cinnamon on a large piece of wax or parchment paper. Roll 1/4 cup of the dough between the palms of your hands into a 2" ball, roll the ball in the sugar, cinnamon mixture and place on one of the prepare baking sheets.continue making cookies, spacing them about 2" apart.
bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm but they are still soft in the center and there are several cracks on top, about 14 minutes.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
the cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.