These soft molasses cookies are filled with the warm holiday flavors of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and molasses. The rich, earthy flavor pairs perfectly with a cup or coffee, or a tall glass of milk.
Many of us have warm memories of food and family during the holidays. Especially as we grow older and have children of our own. I cannot stress how important it is for the younger generation to take the time to learn these traditions from your elders while you can.
My Aunt Mary didn’t write her recipes down. They were all in her head and unfortunately lost when she passed away. I have spent years experimenting with different recipes trying to chase down the flavors of the past. I have come close with some, but most still elude me. If I had spent more time with her while she was here, I would have not only the memories of learning from her, but also her recipes to carry on.
If there are written family recipes, please, please make sure that you have your own copies. Even if you believe that someone in the family will carry on the tradition, recipes can be lost, damaged, or altered over time.
How to Make Molasses Cookies
This is an old fashioned, New England recipe from Kevin’s side of the family. Kevin’s mother, Rena baked an amazing amount of cookies at Christmastime. Out of all the holiday cookies she made, these soft molasses cookies are his favorite.
This cookie dough is very forgiving. In fact, Rena used her recipe as a rough guideline, and added ingredients until the dough felt right. This version is for a drop cookie, but she often added more flour, rolled out the dough, cut it into shapes with cookie cutters.
Here are a few tips before your begin:
- Let the Butter Warm Up: Creaming softened, room temperature butter with the sugar and molasses is key to achieving a light and fluffy cookie. Chilled butter is too hard to blend, and melted butter doesn’t hold air and may even dissolve the sugar. Be sure to let your butter and egg warm to room temperature for about an hour before making your cookies.
- Chill the Cookie Dough: After mixing the ingredients, pop the dough into the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour before baking. Chilling hardens the butter slightly, which prevents the cookies from flattening out when baked. Chilling the cookie dough will give you nice round, puffy, cake like cookies.
- Use a Cookie Scoop: A cookie scoop makes it easy to scoop out the same amount of cookie dough, so your cookies bake evenly.
The full detailed recipe can be found at the bottom of this article, but here are the steps to making molasses cookies:
Step 1: Combine the Dry Ingredients
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside while you mix your wet ingredients.
Step 2: Beat the Wet Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter with molasses and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, water, and continue mixing until combined.
Step 3: Make the Cookie Dough
Reduce your mixer to low and add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed after each addition. Once everything is combined, cover and chill the cookie dough for at least one hour.
Step 4: Bake the Molasses Cookies
Preheat your oven and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly with wet fingertips. Bake until the edges are set, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool the cookies on a rack. Let the cookies cool completely, and then store in an airtight storage container for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage. Makes 48 cookies.
Rena’s Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe
- 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup water
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, molasses, and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg, add water, and mix until well blended.
- Add the flour mixture a little at a time, and mix until well blended. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly with wet fingertips. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool cookies on cooling rack. Makes 48 cookies.
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10 Cookie Mix in a Jar Recipes eBook
Homemade gifts are always appreciated because they come from the heart. Even if you are not crafty, you can give DIY gifts to your family and friends with these easy recipes for making cookie mix in a reusable jar.