cookies · dessert

Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

Drumroll please… here is the last Christmas cookie recipe I’m sharing for 2020 and my favorite photo. Best for last? Depends on your flavor preference. I tell you what, the texture of these molasses spice cookies wins. They are indeed soft and chewy. So if you’re expecting something hard and crunchy like gingersnaps, nope, not this recipe.

Five baked molasses cookies on a white surface

For those of you who have a Jason’s Deli, the flavor of these molasses cookies is very similar to the gingerbread muffins there. Our kids used to go to town on those free muffins and ice cream. Maybe that’s why ours closed…

These cookies are packed full of spices. Can we say they’re healthy with the iron and minerals that blackstrap molasses is full of? Probably not, but maybe they’re a little less guilt-full than other holiday cookie options. Oh, but I forgot about the rolling in sugar… well, there’s always the January detox just around the corner.

This is the easiest of the recipes I’ve shared over the past few days. If you have a cookie scoop, use it. Otherwise, go for just over 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. Bake these one tray at a time, and unless your oven temperature is whacky, stick to the 11 minute bake time. You don’t want to overbake these or else they’ll lose the soft and chewiness.

five baked cookies on a white surface with pine cones and a copper candle burning in the background
five baked molasses cookies on a white surface with pine cones and a copper candle burning in the background

Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

Course Cookies, Dessert
Yield 24 cookies


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (about 2 1/2 ounces), plus 1/4 – 1/3 cup for dipping
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (11 1/4 ounces)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup molasses (about 6 ounces)


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar for dipping in a bowl or a rimmed plate.

  2. Mix together flour, baking soda, spices and salt with a whisk in a medium bowl; set aside.

  3. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle or beater blade attachment, beat butter with brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and add egg yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with a rubber spatula (not necessary if you use the beater blade with the built-in spatula). Reduce speed to lowest setting; add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl down once. Give dough a final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at the bottom of the bowl. Dough will be soft.

  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough and roll between palms into 1 1/2-inch ball (a heaping tablespoon). Drop ball into the bowl/plate with sugar and toss it to coat; set on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

  5. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, about 11 minutes, rotating baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through baking. Cookies may look raw between the cracks and seem undone, but do not overbake them. This gives them the beloved chew.

  6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container or bag at room temperature and enjoy within 5 days. I personally think you should eat at least one while it's still warm.


Source: America’s Test Kitchen

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