Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies with wonderful spices and rolled in sugar. A cookie that screams holiday cheer!
Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe
Other than my sister, I don’t know anyone who loves molasses as much as I do. She would go bonkers over these Molasses Cookies. There are times when I sift through the mound of brown sugar just to see if there are any clumps to nibble on. Is that weird? Don’t answer that.
Molasses cookies taste sort of like a gingersnap cookie, except they aren’t as strong and they’re soft, instead of crunchy. Their unmistakable flavor comes from cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and of course, molasses. The smell while they’re baking is amazing!
What You’ll Need
- Shortening and Butter: These two ingredients together give molasses cookies the best texture and flavor. Shortening, which is flavorless, typically makes baked goods softer, whereas the butter adds the rich flavor.
- Sugars: Both granulated sugar and brown sugar are used for sweetness and extra flavor.
- Eggs: These provide structure.
- Molasses: A key ingredient, of course!
- Honey: This not only provides sweetness, but also moisture. The combination of honey and molasses truly make these the best molasses cookies. (See note below to substitute.)
- Flour: Simple all-purpose flour. Make sure it’s spooned and leveled, not scooped.
- Baking soda: This helps give the cookies lift.
- Pumpkin pie spice: We use our homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe, but you can also buy it.
- Salt: A little salt helps heighten all the other flavors.
- Change the spices: Most of the spices used in molasses cookies are included in our pumpkin pie spice mixture, so that’s what we use for simplicity, but if you don’t want to make or buy it, you will need ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground cloves.
- Omit the honey: Instead of 50/50 molasses and honey, you can do 100% molasses.
- Dunk the cookies in melted chocolate: Melt some dark chocolate, dip one side of the cooled cookie in it, and top with sprinkles for a more festive cookie.
Tips for Success
- Use Dark Molasses. Light molasses lacks flavor and blackstrap molasses is too strong and bitter.
- This recipe calls for a combination of shortening and butter, which makes them extra soft and delicious!
- A mixture of granulated sugar and brown sugar makes these cookies even chewier and richer.
- I replaced some of the molasses with honey and it’s an outstanding flavor combination. (If you’re allergic to honey, you can replace it with more molasses.)
- Don’t over-bake the cookies. It’s shocking how fast these cookies can turn from wonderful to not-so-wonderful in just one minute. This cookie recipe is done at 9 minutes. Right as you see the edges just start to brown, take them out of the oven (they might still look doughy, but they will set up and be wonderfully chewy once cooled.)
Make Ahead and Storing
- Make the Dough Ahead: you can prepare the cookie dough up to to 3 days ahead of using it. Make sure it’s stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Let it come to room temperature before rolling and baking the cookies.
- Freeze Raw Dough Balls: Form the dough into balls, place on a baking sheet, then transfer to the freezer until solid (about 1 hour.) Immediately transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to an airtight freezer-safe bag. They’ll keep up to 2 months. When you’re ready to bake, remove the balls from the freezer, let sit for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in the sugar.
- Freeze Baked Cookies: Allow baked cookies to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe, airtight bag. They’ll keep frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
More Holiday Cookies:
- 1 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup honey (see note below)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- granulated sugar, for rolling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the shortening, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, until incorporated and fluffy.
- Blend in eggs, molasses, and honey until combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients. Mix well. Dough will be sticky.
- Using a cookie scoop, form into walnut-sized balls (about 1 1/4-inches around.)
- Roll in granulated sugar.
- Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 9 minutes. (They might not look done, but they will set up once cooled. Baked too long and they get crispy. They should be chewy.)
- Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Eat and enjoy!