8 oz unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 small eggs or 1 1/2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
Cream butter until soft; add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well-mixed.
Sift the dry ingredients; add to the mixture, 1/3 at a time. Mix only until the dry ingredients become incorporated.
Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, so that some hangs over the outsides. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Pack it tightly, and try to make the top as level as possible. Cover the dough with the plastic overhangs. Freeze until very firm.
Unwrap and remove dough from the pan. Slice brick into thin slices, no more than 1/8". Place on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheetpan (space at least an inch apart) and bake at 350 degrees until the edges turn dark brown, 7-12 minutes. Check the oven for doneness after 7 minutes.