Here we go. Day 8 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza!
I saved one of my favorite cookies in the entire 10-cookie-recipe series for today. Molasses cookies have always been my top choice because they bring me right back to my childhood. I grew up helping my mom bake them, rolling the dough in the sugar, and biting into a warm and chewy cookie fresh from the oven. In addition to the nostalgia, their chewy and soft texture paired with the warm spices and cozy molasses puts them above any other cookie.
Sorry chocolate chip cookies. You don’t even compare.
Since they’re a favorite, I have plenty gingersnappy/molasses cookie recipes on my website and in my cookbooks. Lots of variations: some with white chocolate chips, others with caramel, some with pistachios (in my newest cookbook), others fat and fluffy (check out those cuties!), and some extra crisp. Most stem from the same-ish recipe with the exception of the crisp variety. (Soooo crisp!)
By the way, if I had to chose, I would always reach for my mom’s recipe that lives in Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook. Nothing compares to mom’s.
What Makes Today’s Recipe Different?
But we have a new recipe today. They’re chewier than all the rest with soft centers and mega crackly tops. I used my traditional soft molasses cookie recipe as a starting off point. My goal was to produce a flatter, more chewy cookie with the same amount of softness. I worked with the same ingredients, slightly altering the ratios.
Let’s watch how they’re made first:
Now let’s see how this recipe came to life. First, the flour. I reduced the flour considerably because a slightly flatter cookie was the goal. To avoid a super flat and overly greasy cookie, I increased the baking soda. Need that lift! Butter = same amount. Brown sugar = same amount. Brown sugar is what helps produce the softest molasses cookie ever. (It’s the first thing I changed when making my crisp variety.)
What else? Spices = same amount. Didn’t want to mess with perfection. This careful blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves is exactly what every molasses cookie needs! Egg + vanilla = same and same.
There are varying intensities of molasses on store shelves from lighter molasses to blackstrap molasses. Go for a dark molasses, also sold as “robust” molasses. Blackstrap molasses can be quite intense; I don’t bake with it too much.
And I’m often asked which brands of molasses I like best. I’m not working with any of these companies, but I prefer either Grandma’s brand, Brer Rabbit brand, or Wholesome! brand. Wholesome’s organic molasses is super dark, so it will make your cookies a little darker. Look how dark it makes my spiced gingerbread loaf. As opposed to the same recipe as a cake made with Grandma’s brand. What a difference in color!
(I always giggle at the cute grandma on the label!)
After the dough is made, chill it for about 1-2 hours. 1 hour is plenty and I find anything longer than 2 hours prevents the cookies from spreading enough in the oven. Roll into 1 Tablespoon size balls, then give a generous roll in granulated sugar.
For SPARKLE, of course. ‘Tis the season to sparkle!!!
The cookies will puff up as they bake then gently sink back down. This is what creates those familiar crinkles and crackles we love!
The cookies are SERIOUSLY SOFT right out of the oven, but guess what? They stay SERIOUSLY SOFT for days. Even by, like, day 5-6 they are still super seriously soft.
Seriously? Seriously. 🙂
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These seriously soft molasses cookies are the most tender and chewy gingersnap cookies around!
- 2 and 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured or dark molasses
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated or coarse sugar, for rolling
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on high speed until creamy and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses and beat until combined. Then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be slightly sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour and up to 2-3 days.
- 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.
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 2 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. The cookies may not spread in the oven if the dough is that cold. Roll cookie dough, 1 Tablespoon each, into balls. Roll each in granulated sugar and arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until edges appear set and tops are cracking.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. Unbaked cookie dough balls (before rolling in sugar) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar. Bake as directed. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Molasses | Silpat Baking Mat | Cookie Sheet | Cooling Rack | Cute Bowl
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.