The Chewiest Molasses Cookies

by Andie Mitchell on December 8, 2010

When I bite into a cookie, I need three things to happen:

1. The cookie must be chewy.

2. It must have a pronounced, close-your-eyes-and-please-God-make-this-moment-last flavor, most preferably of butter, sugar, or chocolate. Perfection if all three flavors are present.

3. My plate must contain two more just like it.

 

These molasses cookies are among my top five favorite cookies. My mother has made them since I was the littlest Betty Boop doll, with my round face, pursed lips, black ringlets, and…seductive red dress? That can’t be right.

We’ll just say she’s been making them since I was a babe. And since that’s just a hair over a quarter century, they feel as much a part of my history as scrunchies. Speaking of, tell me how you’re holding your hair back these days.

I’d always known how lovely two dozen molasses cookies could be. How ginger and cloves and cinnamon and molasses could fuse and set fire to my taste buds. How softly set their centers, so sublimely chewy and seemingly underbaked. How big, round, and flat as pancakes they sat, on a rack just to the left of the oven. How relaxed three of them could be, sliding straight from hand to mouth to belly with one glass of milk’s help.

I thought it was all spicy cookies that set my world on fire.

It was not.

In the past two years or so, I’ve baked a batch of five different molasses cookie recipes, hoping, or praying rather, that I’d find one just slightly better than the one I’d smelled in the kitchen every November of my life. Cooks Illustrated, Martha Stewart, every recipe that boasts it’s theee very best…I was just shy of thumbing through the Easy Bake Oven cookbook for a spice cookie, before surrendering to The Silver Palate.

It is still the best recipe I’ve tasted. Uniquely thin, ultra-chewy, and positively popping with gingery molasses flavor, these are the cookies of my girlhood, and they’ll be the ones I make until I’m…well…not in my girlhood.

Enjoy!

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt one and a half sticks of unsalted butter in a large bowl. Add sugar, then molasses, and mix thoroughly.

Lightly beat one egg and add it to the mixture, stirring well to blend well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. The batter will be pretty wet and sticky.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and drop dough evenly into 24 mounds, leaving three inches between each because they spread quite a bit while baking.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the edges have begun to set but the centers still look moist and soft. Do not overbake. The cookies will be very large and flat. Let them sit on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to cool completely on a wire rack.

Molasses Cookies

(recipe from The Silver Palate)

(makes 24 large, very flat cookies)

12 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, melt the butter. Add sugar, followed by the molasses, and mix well. Beat the egg in a small bowl and add it to the sugar-butter-molasses mixture, stirring well to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add to wet mixture and stir until just combined. The batter will be sticky and wet.

4. Drop 24 even heaping tablespoons of batter on the prepared baking sheets, leaving three inches between each cookie because the cookies spread quite a bit while baking.

5. Bake about 8-10 mins, or until the edges begin to darken and set, but the center still seems soft and moist. Remove from oven while still soft. Carefully move the parchment paper (with cookies on top) to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy @ Second City Randomness December 9, 2010 at 4:06 am

Cookies MUST be chewy. Agreed.

And I just had an intense conversation about scrunchies. A girl at work still wears one. Not sure if she’s a wee bit clueless or nostalgic?

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Nicole December 9, 2010 at 4:17 am

Your cookies always look so perfect! Mine come out like lopsided spaceships. Ha, ha.

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Heather (Heather's Dish) December 9, 2010 at 4:49 am

i am such a sucker for chewy cookies…these remind me of my Mimi’s cookies that I could eat just POUNDS of!

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haya December 9, 2010 at 4:58 am

ohhhhhh these look great!

the last time i made molasses cookies with a recipe from someone ELSE’S blog, they had way too much of a baking soda taste and then i never made them again. i will be trying these for sure.

scrunchies never really worked for me. i always put my hair up immediately after the shower when it’s still wet, and the scrunchie would always smell funny (you know, like a towel that’s been left wet and bundled up in the bottom of your swim stuff bag for too long. ick). these days i just go with basic covered elastics without the metal connector thing.

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Paul jennette December 9, 2010 at 5:00 am

Wow! You had me at molasses cookies, chewy is the only way to go.
P.S. I’m holding a Holiday Giveaway on my blog- stop by and play!!

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Evan Thomas December 9, 2010 at 5:35 am

My aunt’s mother in law used to make THE BEST molasses cookies(also, pb cookies, whoopie pies, and butter taffy). I’m going to try this recipe when we see my relatives and hope that they can compare to hers.

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RhodeyGirl December 9, 2010 at 5:40 am

OMGGGGGGGG

These looks like they would be heavenly with a warm cup of tea and a good book. I wish I was a good baker like you so I could make these!!

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Shanna, like Banana December 9, 2010 at 7:20 am

You still are a babe ;)

I used to have a fabulous cinn/sugar molasses cookie recipe that I can no longer find, but this would serve as a great start!

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman December 9, 2010 at 7:49 am

Those look amazing. I love chewy cookies. These remind me of ones I used to find at this bakery near where I lived.

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Stephanie @cookinfanatic December 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

I keep seeing molassas cookies all over the place this holiday season, but I’ve never had one?!!? I’m so intrigued…

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Can You Stay for Dinner December 9, 2010 at 9:29 am

Stephanie, you must try a molasses cookie! AMAZING!

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adventuresofpretendcook December 9, 2010 at 10:27 am

Those cookies look amazing! I have been looking for a good molasses cookie. And I love my cookies chewy as well.

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Jessica December 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Yummmm!

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Megan (Braise The Roof) December 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

You are doing nothing to help my efforts to curb my cookie cravings!! :) Chewy cookies are the only cookies worth having. Ok, that may be extreme. But those chewy cookies look fantastic. Why are the old recipes ALWAYS superior??

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ann December 9, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Ooh, these really look so good. I’ve never made molasses cookies, I can’t wait to try these.

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patridew December 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm

The time you take for these posts is in keeping with the spirit of generosity of the season. Thanks for sharing.

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Peggy Hogan December 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm

These are one of my favorite cookies and my son’s favorite! We always roll them in sugar and put a couple of raisins on the top or dried cranberries. Normally I don’t like a lot of sugar but it looks sparkly and actually tastes good. and you are right…they have to be chewy. It is an underated cookie and can go toe-to-toe with the chocolate chip in my book.

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Can You Stay for Dinner December 11, 2010 at 5:27 am

I like the idea of raisins on the top- to make them more like a hermit cookie- another absolute favorite of mine! Thanks Peggy!

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sally December 11, 2010 at 7:21 am

I made these yesterday. Not only were they easy, they were DELICIOUS! I have yet to try a recipe from here that isn’t!!

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Mi-Young December 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Andie,

Awesome recipe!
This will be my end of week plan after finalizing Christmas shopping.
And dunk it in a glass of milk.
Oh, leave some for Santa too.
Love it!

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Ann W February 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm

These are even better than the ones my Mimi used to make and she was famous for her cooking. Thanks

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Janet November 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Bravo ! These are amaazing !! I used my gluten free flour from glutenfreeflour.com TOM SAWYER GLUTEN FREE FLOUR and dipped half of the cookie in white chocolate !!! I also increased the cloves , ginger and cinnamon , like a lot .. <3 Love this !! Thank you ! Happy Thanksgiving !!

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Heather October 28, 2014 at 11:36 am

Ouch I just burnt my tongue !!! I couldn’t wait …. 10+++++++

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