Caramel Molasses Cookies
Soft-baked molasses crinkle cookies with a generous drizzle of caramel on top. A flavor-packed, spiced holiday cookie!
I’m combining two of my favorite things today.
You’re probably thinking “Sally has a lot of favorite things” – yes, you’re right. I have a heart full of love for The Big Bang Theory, this nail polish, and my pajamas; and my tastebuds are all about peanut butter, mint chocolate, sprinkles, margaritas, and more sprinkles.
And of course, molasses and caramel.
Today’s recipe is a fancy version of my Soft Gingersnap Molasses Cookies. Have you made them yet? They’re nothing at all like the hard, crunchy gingersnaps you are used to. They’re soft, chewy, and melt-in-your-mouth amazing.
Little “molasses pillows” as I like to call them.
With the holidays around the corner, I wanted a jazzy new molasses cookie to share with you. One that will have you craving molasses all year long! And folks, today’s cookies really couldn’t be easier. They may look complicated, but they’re actually pretty simple (and fun!) to make.
You’re going to take my original gingersnap molasses cookie and make 4 slight changes:
- Chill the dough for less time (quicker cookies = good)
- Roll the cookies to be larger (bigger cookies = good)
- Press down on the cookies to create a crinkly top (pretty cookies = good)
- Showered them with caramel (caramel= always good)
So, first things first. Cookie dough chilling is quite important depending on your cookie dough. Some of my cookie recipes require chilling, while others do not. The dependent factor is the consistency of the cookie dough after it’s been mixed. I decide to chill cookie dough if it feels too soft. Not only that, chilling cookie dough allows the cookie dough flavors to adhere together and become one. Sort of like how banana bread tastes better the next day, a cookie dough’s flavor is enhanced when you’re chilling it overtime. Chilling cookie dough also produces thicker cookies. Cold dough = thicker cookies.
For today’s cookies, I chilled the cookie dough for 1 hour. I wanted the cookies to be a little less puffy than the originals (which are chilled for 2+ hours), but still have time in the refrigerator to let the molasses and spice flavors “meld.” You will chill today’s cookie dough for 1 hour.
After the cookie dough has chilled, roll the cookies into balls. I used 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie. Once rolled, give them a nice dunk into sugar. The sugar will give them a pretty little sparkle.
Sparkles and the holidays go hand in hand.
Now you’re going to bake the cookies. You’ll bake them slightly longer than the originals because these cookies are larger. Pay attention to this: Remove the cookies from the oven after 8-9 minutes, gently press down on the tops with the back of a spoon or fork, and then place them back into the oven for 1 minute.
Why are you doing that? Not only so you can achieve some crinkly tops, but also because the cookies won’t spread very much in the oven. You could always just press the cookie tops down after the entire bake time, but then your cookies may just look like you carelessly smashed them down. I feel that they looked better when put back into the oven for 1 minute after pressing down. I’m all about pretty cookies, ok?
The final little step in making today’s molasses cookies is to cover them with caramel. I had never combined molasses and caramel together before until now. And I gotta tell ya – the pair is simply incredible. You have the sweet, buttery caramel tones and the spicy, robust molasses. Total match made in heaven.
The caramel is made from Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels. You’ll need 14 caramels and 1 Tablespoon of cream (or milk). Cream or half-and-half will produce the best tasting caramel. Try to avoid using soy products or nonfat milk. You need dairy fat to make the best tasting and best textured caramel sauce.
Melt the caramels and cream over low-medium heat. Stir until completely melted, about 5-10 minutes. That’s it!
If you’d like to make caramel from scratch instead, try my salted caramel recipe (with step-by-step photos). Try that with or without salt as the cookie’s drizzle.
I took these cookies over to Kevin’s friends at the motorcycle shop. The big manly motorcycle guys completely melted into a pool of cookie nirvana.
“Sally, these are the best cookies in the entire world.”
“HOW DO YOU MAKE THEM SO SOFT?” – yes that man actually yelled.
Some of the guys couldn’t even speak because they kept eating more and more! And to be honest, I don’t even know how I managed to box extra cookies up to bring to the guys. I couldn’t even stop eating them myself!
PS: I can’t sign off without tell you that today’s cookies are reminiscent of my mom’s beloved soft-baked gingersnap cookies. That sacred recipe? You can find it in my cookbook.
Caramel Molasses Cookies
Soft-baked molasses crinkle cookies with a generous drizzle of caramel on top. A flavor-packed, show-stopping cookie!
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (104g) dark molasses
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling
Easy Caramel Sauce1
- 14 Werther's Original® Baking Caramels, unwrapped
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream, half-and-half, or full fat milk
- Make the cookies: In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand or handheld mixer, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla. Beat well on high, scraping down the sides as needed again.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet on low speed. Do not overmix. Cover dough tightly and chill for 1 hour.
- Make the caramel as the dough chills: Add the caramels and cream to a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Constantly stir, allowing the caramels to fully melt. Once melted, turn off the stove and let the caramel sit in the pan until ready to use. You could also use a microwave to melt the caramels and cream together, but you would have to stop and stir every minute or so. I find the stove melts the caramels more evenly and it is much easier. Set aside to cool until the cookies are done.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl. Take 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, then roll into the sugar. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until edges appear set. Remove from the oven and gently press the top of the cookie down with the back of a utensil or even use your fingers. You're trying to obtain a crinkly top. Place back into the oven for 1 more minute. Cookies will be puffy and still appear very soft in the middle. That's ok. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before drizzling with caramel sauce.
Make ahead tip: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Molasses cookies without caramel can be frozen up to 3 months-- thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Rolled cookie dough can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
- If you'd like to make the caramel from scratch, try my homemade salted caramel recipe instead.
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Here are my original Soft-Baked Gingersnap Molasses Cookies
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