1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
Put rack in middle of oven, preheat to 350 degrees. Grease 2 large baking sheets.
Whisk together flour, spices, and salt in bowl. Stir baking soda into warm water in a cup until dissolved, and then stir in molasses. Beat together butter and sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in baking soda mixture until combined well, then beat in flour mixture until just combined (dough will be crumbly but will hold together when rolling balls).
Working with half the dough, roll level teaspoons of dough into balls, arranging them about 2 inches apart on 1 baking sheet. Flatten balls in 1 1/4 inch rounds with tines of fork, dipping fork into flour to prevent sticking. Bake until cookies are golden brown, 10-12 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool. Make more cookies with remaining dough on remaining baking sheet in same manner.
Cookies, cooled completely, keep in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.
As prepared, each serving contains 120 calories, 7g total fat, 20mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 16g total carbohydrate and 1g protein.