Perfectly Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies
Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies are one of those treats I could probably eat every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. They are just SO perfectly spicy, chewy, soft and flavorful. It’s basically a Christmas cookie dream come true! You can also use them to make these Ginger Molasses Sandwich Cookies!
Parent fail of the day (year?): I just realized this morning that my kids don’t even bother waiting for me to yell “WE’RE LATE, RUN!!” anymore when they jump out of the car in the morning at school drop off. They just hit the ground sprinting as fast as they can, high-tailing it to class like that’s totally normal and expected. And for them, it is normal, because I couldn’t make it early to school drop off if my life depended on it.
My friend Emily over at One Lovely Life asked on Instagram the other day about what you’re GOOD at as a mom. I know that I’m a total failure when it comes to being punctual, doing awesome hairdos for the girls, and making sure my kids are not wearing plaids and florals together. But I am pretty good at making sure there are always freshly baked cookies around. We all have our talents, right?? What are you best at when it comes to parenting?
Look, see? Alive, clothed, and full of cookies. (They must be, why else would they look so happy?) What more could you possibly need?
How to make molasses cookies
Today’s recipe for Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies is from my brother-in-law Spencer, whose family calls them Molasses Crinkles. In my mind, crinkle cookies are distinguished by rolling in powdered sugar (like the classic Chocolate Crinkle cookies, which I’m posting a recipe for coming up later this month!) Molasses cookies, on the other hand, are rolled in granulated sugar before baking to get that perfect sugary CRUNCH when you bite into it, so molasses cookies it is.
There are lots of different recipes for Molasses Cookies out there, and many of them are alike. I posted this recipe for Soft Ginger Cookies back in 2012, which is pretty similar, but I think today’s Molasses cookies will be my go-to from now on.
The difference between molasses cookies and gingersnaps
As I was researching the recipe and looking up similar ones, I realized that these Molasses cookies are nearly identical to Gramma Prudy’s Classic Gingersnaps, which is a legendary cookie in my husband Eric’s family. The differences? Butter vs. shortening, white sugar vs. brown sugar, and the amount of baking soda. And of course, the bake time.
Today’s tried-and-true recipe for Molasses cookies calls for all butter-flavored shortening and no butter. Now hold on, hold on, cool your jets, put away your pitchforks, all you butter-philes. Although I’m definitely not in the “shortening will kill you” category, I’m firmly entrenched in the “butter tastes better” category, so I use it in all of my cookies.
But there are two reasons I use all shortening in these cookies: 1) the cookies are spicy enough from the ginger and cinnamon that the butter flavor doesn’t have as important of a role as it does in, say, chocolate chip cookies. And 2) we want these cookies to PUFF. To get an effortlessly tall cookie, use shortening. It will never fail you!
If you want to swap the shortening for all or partial butter in this recipe, go for it! They will still bake up great! They just will be a little bit more like gingersnaps: flatter and more crisp. Molasses cookies are meant to be tall and puffy and soft dreamily thick in the center. That’s exactly what today’s recipe (as written) will give you.
The other big difference between molasses cookies and gingersnaps is the bake time. Molasses cookies rolled about the size of a walnut should not be baked much past 8-9 minutes. The minute that you see cracks forming on top of the cookies, take them out and let cool.
I am posting this recipe as the first half of another Christmas cookie coming your way soon. It involves these cookies and BUTTERCREAM FROSTING and I could not be more excited, because they are basically my favorite Christmas cookie of all time, and I finally perfected them. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!! (Christmas cookie time!) UPDATE! Here is the recipe for Ginger Molasses Sandwich Cookies with Buttercream Frosting. It takes these cookies to a whoooole nother level guys.
Never enough COOKIES!!
Ginger Molasses Sandwich Cookies with Buttercream Frosting << my all time fav!!
Gramma Prudy’s Classic Gingersnaps << Like today’s recipe, but crispier and flatter :)
Chocolate Chunk Gingerbread Cookies << chocolate and ginger: amazing combo, right?
Nutella Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies << everything is better when it’s stuffed with Nutella.
Orange and Ginger Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle from A Family Feast
Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies from Well Plated
Gingerbread Cookie Rings from In Katrina’s Kitchen
Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 3/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco*, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, add 3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco and 1 cup brown sugar. Beat well until smooth, about 1 or 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add 1 egg and 1/4 cup molasses. Beat well, scraping sides, until fully incorporated.
- Add 2 and 1/4 cups flour, but don't stir yet. Make sure you spoon the flour into the measuring cup so that it doesn't get packed.
- On top of the flour, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon cloves. Use a small spoon to stir all the dry ingredients into the flour.
- Beat well until just barely combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and make sure that all the flour is incorporated, but do not over mix. (or you will get tough cookies.)
- Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for about 2-3 hours, until it is completely cold. Do not skip this step or you will get flat cookies!
- Add about a 1/2 cup sugar to a small bowl.
- Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls, about 1 and 1/2 inches across. Roll the dough in the sugar to coat completely, then place on a lined baking sheet with about 2 inches of space between each one.
- Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes, just until the tops start to crack. As soon as you see cracks, take them out! Keep an eye on them, because every oven is different. If you let them bake too long, they will fall flat after you take them out of the oven.
- Sprinkle with additional granulated sugar if you want, for extra sparkle.
- Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. You have to eat at least one of these while they are warm, it's mandatory.
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