In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and dark brown sugar together for 2 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and molasses, and beat on medium speed until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.
Divide the dough into two equal portions, and form them each into a ball. Use your hands to flatten each ball into a 1-inch thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Once the dough is thoroughly chilled, heat the oven to 350°F.
Unwrap the dough and place it on a large, lightly-floured hard surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough evenly until it is approximately 1/8-inch thick. Then use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes, re-rolling the dough as needed to cut out more. Transfer to parchment-covered baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are crisp around the edges and on top.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Once the cookies are room temperature, decorate them as desired with the icing.
In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, milk and salt until smooth.
It should be quite thick. If it is too thick, add 1/2 tablespoon more milk. If it is much too thin, add 1 more tablespoon of confectioners' sugar. If you drizzle a little of the icing with the whisk, the ribbon of icing will hold for a few seconds before melting back into the icing. That is when you know it's the right consistency and is ready to use.