Place butter in a glass measuring cup; heat in the microwave on half-power for 30-second intervals until melted. Set aside to cool. Add 2 cups sugar, eggs and molasses to a stand mixer (a hand mixer will work, too) fitted with a paddle; beat at medium speed. Add melted butter and beat just until incorporated; set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together remaining dry ingredients. Add one cup of dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat at medium speed just until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and repeat the addition of dry ingredients, one cup at a time, until fully combined with wet ingredients. Cover dough with cling wrap and refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread remaining ½ cup sugar on a large dinner plate. Form refrigerated dough into golf ball-sized balls and roll in sugar. Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove sheet from oven; let cookies cool for five minutes prior to removing them from the baking sheet. Makes 48 cookies.