Chewy Molasses Cookies-these soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies are perfectly spiced and coated in pretty sugar for a slight sweet crunch. They are a holiday favorite, but good anytime of the year.
When I was little, I wasn’t a big fan of molasses cookies. They were just ok, never my first choice, especially if there was a big platter of Christmas cookies to choose from. The molasses cookies just looked boring so I don’t even think I even tried them. I would reach for peanut butter blossoms, snickerdoodles, or Andes mint cookies instead.
Well, now molasses cookies are one of my very favorites. They may look a little boring, but the flavors are incredible! I especially love this recipe because the molasses cookies are super CHEWY and perfectly spiced. They are a MUST make for the holidays, but I make them all year because they are so good!
What Molasses Do I Use?
First of all, let’s talk molasses.
For molasses cookies, you want to use unsulphured molasses not blackstrap molasses. Unsulphured molasses is the finest quality. It is made from the juice of sun-ripened cane and the juice is clarified and concentrated. Molasses from the first boiling is the finest grade because only a small amount of sugar has been removed.
Grandma’s is a popular brand and my personal favorite. Brer Rabbit is another good one. You can find both of these at most grocery stores in the baking aisle.
You don’t need to refrigerate your molasses after opening it. Store it in the pantry, it will keep for one year after it’s been opened.
How to Make Chewy Molasses Cookies
Not all molasses cookies are created equal. Some are dry, some are too soft, and some lack flavor. This recipe is PERFECT and I am going to share my tips for making the BEST chewy molasses cookies.
I have a few tricks up my sleeves for creating the perfect chewy cookie. You are going to LOVE them!
- Melted Butter– For this recipe, use melted butter to create a chewy cookie. You can melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. Let it cool to room temperature before using.
- Spices– You will need ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Make sure your spices are fresh for optimal flavor.
- Brown Sugar– this cookie recipe only uses brown sugar to keep the cookies chewy! Always pack your brown sugar.
- Egg and Egg Yolk– Adding an egg yolk increases chewiness.
- Don’t Over Mix- Once you add the dry ingredients, don’t over mix. Mix until just combined. It is ok if you still have a few streaks of flour.
- Chill the Dough– You HAVE to chill the dough because of the melted butter. Chilling the cookie dough will prevent the cookies from spreading and it will make them chewier and more flavorful. I recommend chilling for at least one hour, but you can chill the dough for up to 48 hours. You can chill all of the dough in a disk or you can go ahead and roll out the dough balls and chill. Make sure you cover with plastic wrap or put the balls in a container so the dough doesn’t dry out or take on any other fridge smells:)
- Turbinado Sugar– I highly recommend rolling the cookie dough balls in turbinado sugar instead of regular granulated sugar before baking. Turbinado crystals are coarser, darker, and have a slight molasses flavor, which makes it the perfect sugar for these cookies. Plus, the sugar is so pretty and the sugar crunch is nice!
- Don’t Over Bake– If you want chewy molasses cookies, DO NOT OVER BAKE! If you over bake, the cookies will be crispy instead of chewy. Take the cookies out of the oven when the edges are set but the centers are still soft. They will finish baking on as they cool on the baking sheet.
- Bang the Pan– As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, bang the pan on a flat surface 3 to 5 times. This will help the cookies stay perfectly chewy in the center with slightly crisp edges.
- Spatula Trick– If the cookies are a little flat or not in a completely round circle, use a spatula to lightly tap the edges of the warm cookies to shape them into a perfect circle. This is optional, but will make the cookies look pretty and will give them a little lift.
- Cool– Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 3 to 5 minutes until they are firm enough to transfer to a wire cooling rack.
How to Store
Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to four days. If you want them to stay soft and chewy, you can put a piece of bread in the container. The bread will get hard and the cookies will stay soft.
You can also freeze the cookies for up to two months.
If you want to freeze the cookie dough, roll the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet or tray and freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer the firm cookie dough balls to a freezer container or bag and freeze for up to two months.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven and remove the balls from the freezer. Roll in turbinado sugar and bake, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time. You don’t have to defrost the cookie dough.
More Cookie Recipes
Chewy Molasses Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Turbinado sugar, for rolling the cookies
- Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt for 45 to 60 seconds or until melted. You can also melt the butter on the stovetop. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the melted butter and brown sugar together. Add the molasses and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, if necessary. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- With the mixer off, add the dry ingredients. Mix on low until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- For the dough into a large ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour or up to 48 hours.
- When ready to bake, remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.
- Pour the turbinado sugar into a bowl. Roll the cookie dough into balls, about 1 ½ tablespoons per cookie. Roll the cookie dough balls in the sugar.
- Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, placing the cookies about 2-inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 11 minutes or until the edges are slightly set, the cookies are barely starting to crack, and the centers are still soft. Don’t over bake!
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully bang the bottom of the pan on a flat surface. This will make the cookies chewier. Use a spatula to lightly tap the edges of the warm cookies to shape them into a completely round circle. This is optional but will make the cookies look pretty and if they are a little flat, this will give them a little lift.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Have you tried this recipe?
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Photos by Molly from Yes to Yolks
Yum! How does this cookie compare to your other soft ginger snap cookie recipe?
These are more chewy. These have melted butter, an extra egg yolk, you have to chill the dough, they are rolled in turbinado sugar. They are both really good but a little different:)
How about adding candied ginger to the batter? Curious what you think!
Sure, if you like a strong ginger flavor, go for it!
Hi! Can you freeze the dough and pull out later when you’re ready to bake? Can’t wait to try this, they look so yummy!
Nevermind, I must have missed where you said above that you could freeze the dough! Thank you!
Yes! You can freeze the dough and the baked cookies!
Do you use light or dark brown sugar in this recipe? Thank you.
I use light but dark would work well too.
Yum! These remind me of a family members cookie. My girls loved helping me make these.
Delicious! These remind me of a family members recipe. What a great cookie to make during the holidays with my kids. Maria, I have been enjoying your blog and great recipes!
Super easy and delicious!!!
How these cookies different from the other cookies?
Did anyone else’s turn out flat (unlike the pics)? They tasted DELICIOUS, but were as flat as anything! Help!
Did you chill the dough? Not enough flour? Fresh baking soda?
Can you use a cookie cutter on these or would that mess them up entirely?
I’ve never tried rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters for this recipe.
Has anyone ever tried making with GF flour?
So delicious! They were chewy and a big hit with my family over Christmas. The first batch I didn’t cook quite enough and they were a bit too soft, but I checked the bottoms on the second and they were perfect. Thanks!!
Do you put them into the oven still in a ball shape? Mine come out rather floofy still, certainly no need to scrape any edges up. They taste excellent, but storage wise, a flat cookie is simpler. I’ve hit that counter really good, and they come down a bit, but nothing like your photos
Has anyone had problems with the cookies coming out SUPER flat? I’ve made two batches like this now. Baking soda is fresh, I’ve added enough flour (even a bit more the second batch) and chilled the dough before rolling and again before baking. Also the middle seems pretty raw compared to the edges…. I’ve played with the cooking time from 9-13 mins and seem to get the same result. I’ve made these in past years with no problems! HELP!!!
Try adding 1/4 cup more flour. Maybe it is an elevation/climate issue? Where do you live? And make sure your butter isn’t too warm when starting.