In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until well blended.
In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses, vanilla and lemon zest and continue to mix until until well blended. Gradually stir in dry ingredients from the small bowl until blended and smooth.
Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprikle flour over dough and rolling pin. Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. (Use additional flour to avoid sticking.) Cut cookies with desired cutter-the gingerbread man is a favorite of course.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart. Bake 1 sheet at at time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies). Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
Appeared in print on 12/23/09