In a large bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined. Add in the molasses and mix until combined. Add in the vanilla and egg and beat until just barely combined.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry mixture to the sugar mixture and mix until combined. If the dough is very dry, add 2 tablespoons of milk to moisten it just enough to be able to press together with your hands.
This dough does not need to be refrigerated, so go ahead and roll it out on a very lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut out desired gingerbread shapes. Lay on the baking sheets with about an inch between the cookies. They shouldn't spread as they bake.
Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the center of the cookies is just barely baked. Let them sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Frost and decorate once cooled.
Store gingerbread cookies in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers. Freeze for up to 3 months.