Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves together in a small bowl.
Beat butter, brown sugar, and egg together in a large bowl until well blended. You can do this by hand or in the bowl of your stand mixer on medium speed.
Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest; mix until well blended.
Stir in dry ingredients gradually until the dough is smooth.
Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in damp tea towel and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Roll and Bake the Cookies:
Generously butter a cookie sheet, or line it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Remove one portion of the cookie dough from fridge. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough and on the rolling pin.
Roll dough to a quarter-inch thickness, using additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking. To give these easy ginger cookies a pretty pattern, use an embossed rolling pin over the rolled out dough.
Cut cookies into shapes with cookie cutters, or simply cut into squares. Transfer cookies to the cookie sheet, spacing them two inches apart.
Bake at 350F degrees for 7-10 minutes; less time for a soft cookie, more for a crisp one.
Remove from oven; let cookies sit for a couple of minutes until they are firm, then transfer to a wire rack.
If you don’t have access to fresh ginger, you can certainly use dried ginger; just use one tablespoon of dried ginger to replace the ground ginger root.