In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and mix until evenly combined.
Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt, beating until combined and a dough forms.
Let dough set up in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the coarse sugar in a small bowl.
Roll the dough into tablespoon size balls and roll through the coarse sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on how soft you want the cookies. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.