Crisp Molasses Cookies

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

Welcome to day 4 in my annual cookie palooza! I’ve been having a ton of fun this week and while I have a difficult time choosing favorites (oh hi, have we met?) I can truthfully say today’s cookies take the gold medal so far.

Molasses cookies are the best variety. I grew up on several things: fish sticks, five alive (does anyone else remember this drink??), 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 cookies are an enormous part of my childhood. My mom and I baked her soft gingersnaps together nearly each December. I published her recipe in my book! (Have you tried?) And in the past few years, we’ve gone from soft-baked and butterscotch topped to gingerbread men shapes and caramel drizzled. 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. Edges so crunchy they put our cool ranch doritos to shame. They snap when you break them in half, a drastic change from yesterday’s “slow bend” oatmeal cookies.

But they’re not only snappy in texture. They’ve got some SUPER snappy flavor too! (I keep laughing when I type snappy.) Deeply spiced, a big ol’ nod to my dark 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

What makes them crisp?

A couple things. Today we’ll 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. Much unlike brown sugar, which creates our soft-baked cookies! We also bake the cookies for about 13 minutes; adding a couple extra minutes to cookie’s bake time produces a crisper edge.

We’re also adding a liquid– molasses– to the picture. This weighs down the cookie dough so your cookies not only have that beautiful molasses flavor, but also come out a little thinner. Thinner cookies tend to be more crispy.

Also: try rolling them in a coarser sugar. I used half sugar in the raw and half regular granulated sugar for rolling. I liked the larger granules with the more fine granules. The combination made pretty cookies!

Oh! And the cookies get even crispier by the next day, so these are a wonderful make-ahead option for all your holiday baking. YES.

Crisp molasses cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today’s crisp molasses 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, you snappy brown beauties!

It’s taken me a few years to come around to crisp-edge cookies; soft-baked have been my mainstay. But, actually, I’ve been working on some crisp-edge cookies for my next cookbook because I know so many of you love them. That’s actually what inspired me to test out today’s recipe and I couldn’t be more satisfied. 🙂

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

Now let’s slap some vanilla ice cream between two of these and call it a holly jolly day.

Print

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 | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Flex Edge Beater | Melamine Mixing BowlsSilpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet | Organic Molasses | Raw Sugar
  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

See all cookie palooza recipes.

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

61 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 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!

    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!

  2. 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. 🙂

  3. 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!

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