Cream butter and sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until fluffy.
Whisk together baking soda and 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved; stir in molasses.
Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture alternately with molasses mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.