Crisp Molasses Cookies

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!

How to make crisp molasses cookies with a wonderfully crisp edge and PACKED with spice flavor! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

How to make crisp molasses cookies with a wonderfully crisp edge and PACKED with spice flavor! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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:

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.

Crisp molasses cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Crisp molasses cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Make Crisp Molasses Cookies

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Chill cookie dough. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls. Use about 1 Tablespoon of dough per cookie.
  6. Generously roll each cookie dough ball in granulated sugar. For sparkle, of course!
  7. Bake.

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. 🙂

How to make crisp molasses cookies with a wonderfully crisp edge and PACKED with spice flavor! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

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Crisp Molasses Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Yield: about 30 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Crisp molasses cookies have perfect crispy edges and are packed with spice flavor!


Ingredients

  • 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*

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, KitchenAid Glass Bowl, Flex Edge Beater, Silpat Baking Mat, Baking Sheet, and Organic Molasses
  3. 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.)
  4. 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

How to make crisp molasses cookies with a wonderfully crisp edge and PACKED with spice flavor! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

68 Comments

  1. Just made these in mini form as dippers for a sweet whipped pumpkin dip. They turned out AMAZING! I had intended to freeze them for Thanksgiving but they may not last long enough for me to do that! As always Sally, I can depend on you for a winning recipe. You’re my go-to source and they are always SO FABULOUS. Thanks for all your hard work.

    1. I’m so glad you tried the crisp molasses cookies! Thank you for reporting back about them 🙂

  2. Recommendations for using this recipe for gingerbread men? Will they spread too much?

    1. Hi Jane! This cookie dough isn’t ideal for rolling out/cutting into shapes. Instead, I suggest this gingerbread men recipe: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/12/01/my-favorite-gingerbread-men-recipe/

      1. I actually tweaked it a little, based on what you said about why it spreads more, and it made the best-tasting gingerbread men ever– we raved about it! I did half white sugar and half brown sugar. And after rolling and cutting out the men, I put them back to chill a few minutes before putting them in the oven. They held their shape and they were perfectly delicious. Thank you!! Definitely saving this recipe for use every year!

  3. I may be weird, but I like a crispier cookie. ‍♀️

    1. Made this for Christmas today and they were a big hit! I didn’t have quite enough molasses so I used about a tablespoon or less of dark corn syrup because it’s what I had. I will make them again! They were the best combination of chewy/crisp for me. LOVE!

  4. These are delicious!!! Mine did not crack on top at all (I baked for 15 minutes), but they looked perfect. Great cookie!

  5. Hi Sally,

    I LOVE these cookies. My Nana used to make molasses cookies when I was little and we have never been able to find her recipe. This one tastes the closest to it of all the recipes I’ve tried.

    This might be a silly question, but can I double the recipe? Or do I need to make 2 separate batches?

    1. Hi Elisa! I’m so happy that you enjoy these crisp molasses cookies and they live up to your memories! Doubling the recipe is fine, but I strongly recommend making separate batches for the best results. 🙂

  6. My husband called from the grocery store and asked me to look up a recipe for molasses cookies (I had NEVER made molasses cookies, but I know he likes them store-bought). I asked him if he wanted soft or crispy and he said crispy. So I happened upon this recipe. Oh My WORD! He loved them! Actually, we have friends staying with us right now, and I think there will be an arm-wrestling match over the last cookie :-). It’s a good thing they are EASY to make because I’ll be making another batch soon!

  7. I’ve made these cookies many times and they are amazing. However we’re expecting guests who are allergic to gluten. Can I use gluten free flour here ? I’m curious about soft chocolate chip cookies too. I often prepare them. Thanks.

    1. I made a double batch, and made these with half King Arthur Measure for Measure flour and half home-milled GF steel cut oats (I’m trying to use up a backlog of oats) and they turned out GREAT!
      I also did not split my batch in two separate 1 recipes amounts as Sally recommends elsewhere in the Q&A, but instead made the whole thing all together. I did find I needed to freeze the dough between rolling balls rather than just putting it in the fridge

  8. Howard Wikoff says:

    Arizona Guy,
    Sally thanks so much for this treat. I have made numerous molasses cookies and have been disappointed numerous times, but not this time. These are the best “Crisp Molasses Cookies” ever. Your recipe is a keeper. Thanks again.

  9. Hi Sally! My cookies didn’t really crack like yours and are thinner. They still taste great but just wondering what I did wrong? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lindsey, If they are thin from spreading too much I recommend checking out this blog post on preventing cookies from spreading for lots of troubleshooting tips! I hope this helps!

  10. I made these yesterday, and while they tasted delicious–they were quite soft. More chewy than anything else–only the edges were a little crispy. Any idea as to why? I 1.5x the recipe but only had one egg in the fridge, so I added 2 tablespoons of milk to make up for the other half an egg I didn’t have…could that be the problem? 🙁

    1. Hi Erin, I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor. It could be the missing egg or you might simply need to leave them in the over for another minute.

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