Classic Molasses Cookies recipe with the perfect chewy and crunchy texture with the ginger and molasses flavor everyone loves.
My favorite Christmas cookies and candies are the old-fashioned ones and molasses cookies are right up near the top of the list. It’s that chewy and crunchy, ginger and molasses flavor that gets me every time!
Start by beating the softened butter and shortening until smooth.
Why use shortening when making cookies?
I like to use a combination of shortening and butter when I make cookies. The shortening helps the cookies rise more and gives them a light texture. It also prevents the cookies from spreading too much. On the other hand, butter brings flavor and helps make the cookies crispy.
Next, add the granulated sugar and brown sugar.
Can I substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar?
This molasses cookie recipe calls for a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar. The granulated sugar brings the crispness and the brown sugar makes them chewy. But yes, you can use all brown sugar, if you prefer
Mild-Flavor (Light) vs Full-Flavor (Dark) Molasses
Wondering what kind of molasses to use in your molasses cookies? You can choose either the mild-flavor also known as light molasses or go for the full-flavor also known as dark molasses depending on your tastes. The darker molasses has a stronger flavor and will make the cookies have a more intense molasses flavor. For my cookies, I like to use this mild-flavor molasses from Amazon.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt. Then, add to the mixing bowl and stir until combined.
Why mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl?
This molasses cookies recipe instructs you to mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl before adding them to the mixing bowl. Mixing the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl is important because it disperses the leavening ingredients such as baking soda throughout the flour. This makes for evenly leavened cookies. This step also does the same thing for the spices. No one wants to get a clump of ginger or cloves in one cookie!
Why use a dough scoop when making cookies?
I grew up making cookies using a spoon to make the balls of dough, and of course, that method still works. But nowadays, I always use a dough scoop when making cookies. First of all, you get evenly sized cookies which makes them easier to line up on a platter for storage, stack in a cellophane bag for gifts, or put into a container for storage. More importantly, having balls of dough that are the same size means that they will be done baking at the same time.
Next, roll the molasses cookie dough balls in sugar crystals and use a bottom of a glass to flatten them slightly.
What kind of sugar should I use for coating the molasses cookies?
For the best results, you’ll want to use coarse sugar with larger size crystals for coating the cookies. Some of the options available include sanding sugar, sparkling sugar (aka white sugar sprinkles), and turbinado sugar which is what I used for this recipe. You can find turbinado sugar here on Amazon.
When the cookies first come out of the oven they will be slightly puffed in the center like they are in the picture above. But as they cool, they will flatten..
What is the best way to cool molasses cookies?
The best way to cool cookies is on a cooling rack. Leaving them on the baking sheet will cause them to continue cooking due to the hot pan. Moisture can also get trapped between the cookies and the baking sheet which can cause your cookies to get soggy.
The easiest way to move them from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack is to line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Slide the whole piece of parchment with the cookies on it onto the cooling rack. Or you can slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto the counter (if your counter can handle the heat). Then when they are set, use a spatula to gently lift the cookies from the parchment and place them directly on the cooling rack.
Can I frost my molasses cookies?
Many people like to add frosting or icing to their molasses cookies. You can spread it over the top, drizzle it on, or dip half of the cookie in icing. The great thing is that you can choose any icing or frosting you prefer. For buttercream fans, you can find my buttercream frosting recipe here. Cream cheese flavor also goes well with ginger flavor. If that is what you are going for, try my cream cheese frosting recipe found here. If you want to pipe icing on your molasses cookies, check out my cookie icing guide here for a few recipes. Finally, you can simply melt white chocolate chips according to the instructions on the bag and use that for decorating the cookies.
Want more cookie recipes? Try these next:
Cutout Cookies: A classic sugar cookie recipe that’s perfect for baking cutout cookies with your family and friends. Make it a holiday tradition!
Peanut Butter No Bakes: Peanut butter no bake cookies are a delicious spin on the traditional no bakes. Everyone loves these chewy cookies with peanut butter and oats!
Peppermint Cookies: These pretty pink peppermint cookies with a candy cane crunch are topped with smooth peppermint buttercream frosting and sprinkled with crushed candy canes!
Gnomes Cookies: These cute gnomes cookies are surprisingly easy to make and are super fun to decorate with your choice of a buttercream or cotton candy beard.