Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Technique Used: Creaming Method for Cookies
Chewy molasses cookies are wonderfully thin and incredibly chewy. The warm flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and molasses give an incredible depth of flavor. These chewy cookies are the perfect addition to your cookie tin for the holiday season.
HOW TO MAKE CHEWY MOLASSES COOKIES
STEP 1: MIX THE WET INGREDIENTS
It is important to cream the butter and sugar together really well to ensure that the cookies spread out thin and get crispy. You want to mix on medium/high speed for about 2-3 minutes until very fluffy.
Mix in the egg and dark molasses.
STEP 2: MIX IN THE DRY INGREDIENTS
Add the baking soda, salt, and all spices. Mix just until incorporated. This helps evenly distribute the spices without dirtying another bowl to mix all the dry ingredients together.
Step 3: Chill the Dough
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or foil and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours to firm up the dough. This step helps the flour to fully hydrate into the dough, gives time for the flavors to fully develop, and helps the dough to not spread as much when baking.
STEP 4: SHAPE AND BAKE
Scoop dough balls about 1 ½ tablespoons each and roll into a smooth ball between your palms. Roll the dough ball in granulated sugar and then transfer to the lined baking sheets. Give the cookies enough space to spread out.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and the middles look just slightly under done. Sprinkle with additional granulated sugar after removing from the oven if desired. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to a a cooling rack to cool completely.
What is molasses?
Molasses is made from crushed sugarcane. The juice is boiled down to a concentrated dark, thick, and sweet (not at all bitter) syrup. Most store-bought molasses is unsulphured which is highly preferred for baking. While sulphured molasses has been treated with sulphur dioxide as a preservative giving it a slightly chemically taste.
You may have also heard of blackstrap molasses. It’s made from the same process but it’s boiled down even farther until it’s even more concentrated and has turned bitter. Blackstrap molasses should never be used in baking unless a recipe specifically calls for it.
MAKE-AHEAD CHEWY MOLASSES COOKIES
How to store in the refrigerator: After making the dough, flatten it into a disc and wrap tight in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days.
How to store in the freezer: I suggest freezing the dough after it’s been rolled into balls making it easier for baking. After rolling the dough balls in sugar, place on a baking sheet and freeze. Freeze uncovered at least overnight until the dough balls are rock hard. Then move into a large zipper bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
How to bake from frozen: Remove the dough balls from the freezer and place on a lined baking sheet. You do not need to thaw. Bake as directed adding 2-3 minutes to the baking time.
- 170 grams (¾ cup, 1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams (¾ cup) granulated sugar, divided
- 100 grams (½ cup) dark brown sugar
- 230 grams (⅔ cup) unsulphured molasses
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom or clove (I prefer cardamom)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 270 grams (2 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour
- About 30 minutes before making the dough, take the butter (170 grams/ ¾ cup) and egg (1 large) out of the refrigerator and leave out at room temperature. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the butter with the larger portion of granulated sugar (100 grams/ ½ cup) and dark brown sugar (100 grams/ ½ cup) on medium-high speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg and molasses (230 grams/ ⅔ cup) to the mixing bowl and mix again until it is incorporated.
- Add the baking soda (2 teaspoons), cinnamon (1 ½ teaspoons), ginger (1 teaspoon), cardamom or clove (½ teaspoon), and salt (½ teaspoon) to the mixing bowl. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the mixing bowl and mix again to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.
- Add the flour (270 grams/ 2 ¼ cups) to the mixing bowl and mix until incorporated. This should only take about 30-45 seconds of mixing. Do not over-mix.
- Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or foil and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours to firm up the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line three baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- Scoop dough balls about 1 ½ tablespoons each and roll into a smooth ball between your palms. Roll the dough ball in the smaller portion of the granulated sugar (50 grams/ ¼ cup) and then transfer to the lined baking sheets. Give the cookies enough space to spread out.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and the middles look just slightly under done.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to a a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe heavily adapted from The Baker's Manual