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These Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies are a year-round classic that deserve special attention at Christmas time. Mildly spiced, richly flavored from the molasses and brown sugar, and generously sprinkled with granulated sugar for a touch of sparkle, this classic molasses cookie recipe belongs in your dessert arsenal.
I have always loved any type of gingery, molasses-y cookie. Whether it’s crispy gingersnaps, soft & chewy gingerbread men cookies, or oversized Joe Froggers, these warmly spiced robust molasses-based cookie recipes just speak to me and always have.
They are just as delicious in the summer as they are in winter.
Keep scrolling to the bottom of this post for info on a KitchenAid giveaway I’m currently doing with some blogging friends. But in the meantime, enjoy the pictures and this post. And go make some cookies!
When our oldest daughter was born, I remember making molasses cookies in the kitchen of her birth family’s home.
Paul and I got to go to Texas to meet Clara’s birthmom about a month and a half before Clara was born, and then I spent almost a month there waiting for her to arrive.
We thought labor was imminent so I flew out and then she decided to be overdue and breech. (Those sorts of things never do go as planned, do they?).
And then we had to wait for ICPC clearance to leave the state after her birth. ICPC is an adoption thing where paperwork has to clear before you can transport a child across state lines in an adoption situation – the link is worth a read if you or anyone you know is considering out-of-state adoption.
Most of that time was spent with her birth family, who took us in and showed us love the likes of which will forever be imprinted on my heart.
From the very beginning, they felt like family, and we consider them as much. We fed their chickens and milked goats, went shopping, and built a relationship not just with Clara’s birthmom, but with her parents and siblings that we cherish.
And like always for me, many of my memories of that time are tied to the foods we shared.
Chicken enchiladas, chocolate chip cookie pie, homemade wheat bread, ice cream made with milk from their goats, and molasses cookies are all things I know we ate and enjoyed at their Texas house where we spent one night just days after Clara’s birth hunkered down in a central hallway together, waiting for a tornado to pass and listening to weather updates while all admiring the tiny newborn that had united us in ways none of us could have quite anticipated.
I can’t remember specifically which visit it was – the first or the second – that we made molasses cookies, but I know we made them in their kitchen and they tasted like home.
These old fashioned soft molasses cookies always taste like home, even if you didn’t grow up with them. It’s one of the magic things about them.
What do molasses cookies taste like?
I like my molasses cookies soft and sugary. So not only do I roll them in sugar before baking, but then I underbake them intentionally so they stay super soft and sprinkle the crinkly tops with extra granulated sugar so they sparkle and have an extra sweet crunch when you bite into them.
The flavor of these soft molasses ginger cookies comes from a combination of ground cinnamon and ginger, as well as the rich, full flavor of molasses of course.
I use dark molasses, not light or blackstrap molasses, for these old fashioned soft molasses cookies.
How to Make Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies
These cookies are so basic that most of you bakers out there will hardly need these steps, but I’m going to give them anyway because it just shows how simple and easy these soft and chewy molasses cookies are to make, especially using a stand mixer like my trusty KitchenAid.
- Beat the butter until light and creamy (oh a minute or so) using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. Then add the brown sugar and beat again until fluffy and light.
- Beat in the molasses, egg, and vanilla until combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt, mixing until combined and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to make sure it mixes up evenly.
- Chill the dough for an hour (or more – it really does help since the molasses makes this a very soft dough), then roll it into small balls and roll those in granulated sugar.
- Bake just until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and are barely done and evenly looking slightly wet and underdone coming out of the oven. If they look totally done, they are for sure going to harden up as they cool and that’s not what we’re going for with these SOFT and CHEWY molasses cookies!
- Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool after a minute or two and sprinkle them with a little extra granulated sugar.
These soft and chewy molasses cookies are perfection with a cup of cold milk (kids, take note for Santa this year).
Or sandwich two of them with ice cream between them (a scoop of strawberry ice cream between two molasses cookies is incredible although basically any flavor is amazing with them) or use eggnog buttercream frosting for an out of this world super soft sandwich cookie that practically grabs you by the shoulders and screams CHRISTMAS!!! at you.
More Classic Christmas Cookies Recipes (Because You Can Never Have Enough!)
- Mexican Wedding Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Toffee Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup dark molasses
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute until creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla and beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl, then add to the butter and molasses mixture on low speed, mixing until combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough into balls, about 1 1/2-inch in diameter, then roll in the extra sugar and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, just until the cookies begin to crack slightly on top. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with additional granulated sugar for extra sparkle, if desired.
Adapted from the back of the Grandma's molasses bottle.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179 Saturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 27mg Sodium: 168mg Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 13g Protein: 1g
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