Crisp molasses cookies boast wonderfully crunchy edges and tons of spice flavor. Made with extra molasses, these crispy cookies actually snap in half when you break them!
Molasses cookies are the best variety. I grew up on several things: fish sticks, five alive (does anyone else remember this?), cool ranch doritos, and my mom’s gingersnap cookies. While my tastebuds have certainly changed, my immense love for gingersnappy/molasses cookies remains untouched. Same with fish sticks, five alive, and cool ranch doritos. Much love.
Molasses Cookie Comparison
Molasses cookies were an enormous part of my childhood. My mom and I baked her soft gingersnaps together nearly each December– I even published her recipe in Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook. Over the years, I’ve shared many molasses cookie recipes on my website and in my cookbooks. Most stem from the same-ish recipe, so let’s review each:
- Soft Molasses Cookies: Super chewy with soft centers.
- Soft White Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies: Studded with white chocolate chips, these cookies are tender, lusciously soft, and mega chewy. You’ll love the combination of cozy spices and white chocolate.
- Caramel Molasses Cookies: We’re combining molasses and caramel in this soft, crinkly-topped cookie recipe.
- Soft Gingersnap Molasses Cookies: These flavorful cookies are fat and fluffy!
- Ginger Pistachio Cookies: I added salty pistachios to my mom’s classic recipe. These ginger molasses cookies are soft, salty, sweet, and wonderfully spiced. Find this recipe in Sally’s Cookie Addiction cookbook.
What Makes These Crisp Molasses Cookies Different?
It seems like we’ve done it all in the molasses cookie world. But my my my, we are so very mistaken. We’ve never ventured over to the other side. You know, the crunchy side. The under appreciated, mega traditional crisp molasses cookies. They snap when you break them in half, a drastic change from “slow bend” oatmeal scotchies.
But they’re not only snappy in texture. They’ve got some SUPER snappy flavor too! Deeply spiced, a big ol’ nod to my spiced gingerbread loaf. We’re talking lots of ground cloves and cinnamon, with a dose of ginger and lots of dark molasses. These cookies are exactly what I associate with Christmas and a tall glass of cold milk.
The Science Behind the Crispy Texture
What makes these molasses cookies crispy molasses cookies?
- Granulated Sugar: In today’s recipe, we use all granulated sugar in our cookie dough. Granulated sugar helps encourage spread and also creates a crispier cookie. Think about it: there’s no moisture in granulated sugar. Meaning there’s not much softness, no tenderness, etc. Unlike brown sugar, which creates a soft-baked texture.
- Molasses: Adding a liquid (in this case, molasses) to the cookie dough weighs it down. This means that the cookies have that beautiful molasses flavor and come out a little thinner. Thinner cookies tend to be more crispy.
- Sugar for Rolling: Try rolling the cookie dough balls in a coarse sugar. I use half Sugar in the Raw and half regular granulated sugar for rolling. I like the larger granules with the more fine granules. The combination makes pretty cookies AND adds extra crunch.
- Bake Time: A few extra minutes in the oven produces a crispier edge.
How to Make Crisp Molasses Cookies
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Combine the wet ingredients.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
- Chill cookie dough. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Roll cookie dough into balls. Use about 1 Tablespoon of dough per cookie.
- Generously roll each cookie dough ball in granulated sugar. For sparkle, of course!
These cookies are fun to watch baking and cooling. They puff up in the oven, gently crack at the top, then slightly fall leaving valleys of crinkles. So much character in each cookie. 🙂
Crisp molasses cookies are a wonderful make-ahead option for all your holiday baking. Why? The cookies get even crispier by the next day!
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Spritz Cookies
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Lace Cookies
Crisp molasses cookies have perfect crispy edges and are packed with spice flavor!
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured or dark molasses*
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- for rolling: 2/3 cup granulated or coarse sugar*
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt together. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat the two together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla and beat on high until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator (and up to 2-3 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard and the cookies may not spread.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Roll balls of dough (about 1 scant Tablespoon of dough per cookie) into the granulated/coarse sugar. Place each ball 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 13 minutes or until cracked on the top.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls (not rolled in sugar) freeze well for up to 3 months. Roll frozen dough balls in the sugar and bake for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, KitchenAid Glass Bowl, Flex Edge Beater, Silpat Baking Mat, Baking Sheet, and Organic Molasses
- Molasses: A couple brands I favor– Grandma’s Robust Molasses, Grandma’s Unsulphured Molasses, or Wholesome!’s Organic Molasses (this stuff is potent and delicious! It’s what I used in these pictured cookies.)
- Sugar: I used 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and 1/3 cup of a coarse sugar, like Sugar in the Raw, for rolling. I liked the larger granules on these cookies! You can roll in ALL granulated sugar or ALL coarse sugar. Whichever you’d like.
Keywords: crisp molasses cookies, molasses cookies