Soft and chewy molasses cookies are probably one of the greatest cookies that has ever lived. Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves combine with molasses and sugar combine to create the warmest and chewiest cookie you could ever have. I truly think it’s impossible to eat just one!
Soft and chewy molasses cookies are a great way to enjoy the warm spices of Fall with feeling like you’re baking a Christmas cookie. Which brings me to a very important question:
What’s the difference between a molasses cookie, a gingersnap cookie, and gingerbread cookies?
So you’re probably wondering what makes a molasses cookie different from a gingersnap and gingerbread cookies. The truth is, they all share basically the same ingredients with just small variations in the amount of ginger and the baking time. Gingersnaps and gingerbread cookies have more ginger than a molasses cookie. Gingersnaps bake for a little longer than a gingerbread cookie, making them the crispiest of these three cookies. So we’ve got molasses cookies using the least amount of ginger and baking only 9 minutes so nice and chewy, then we have the gingerbread made with more ginger than the molasses and baking a bit longer, but still being soft, and last we’ve got the gingersnap using about the same amount of ginger as a gingerbread, but baking the longest putting the *snap* in gingersnap.
Now, there are two ways this recipe can be made. The original recipe calls for shortening. I typically don’t keep this in stock, so for my first test of this cookie I used butter. Just a note, whenever you’re wanting to substitute one ingredient for another always research if the substitution is an exact 1:1 or if you need adjust the amount up or down. For substituting butter for shortening, you need to use a bit more butter. When I did the second test of this molasses cookie, I used the shortening.
So, which was better, the butter recipe or the shortening recipe?
Using butter in chewy molasses cookies as a richness to the flavor. You taste all the spices from the cinnamon to the ginger to the cloves, and the butter is adding this warm dense flavor to the cookie. The cookies came out soft and chewy, and even the next day were still soft and chewy, so I didn’t find that they crisped up by using butter.
With the shortening in place of the butter, I found that the spice taste shines through a bit more. There isn’t that added robust butter flavor, so I found I was really detecting the spices a bit more. Still chewy, however I did think that the butter cookies were just a tad chewier.
The verdict? Both were incredibly chewy, warm, spiced, and so good you can’t eat just one..or two. But, when I make these again I’m going to be using butter. In the recipe below I’ve noted the amounts needed for both shortening and butter so feel free to choose which you prefer, or make them both ways and find out which way you prefer!
If you like molasses cookies you might also like:
Molasses Pumpkin Muffins
Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies
A warm and chewy cookie spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and molasses. The best way to enjoy the flavors of Fall anytime of the year! Important note: the dough needs to chill for 2-3 hours before baking!
- Prep Time: 2 hour 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 27 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 42 minutes
- Yield: 30 cookies
-3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, softened (or 3/4 cup shortening)
-1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
-1/4 cup molasses
-2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1 and 1/2 teaspoons ginger
-1/2 teaspoon cloves
-1/2 cup white sugar for rolling the cookies
1. In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or in your stand mixer, beat the butter (or shortening) with the 1 cup dark brown sugar. Beat about 1 minute until smooth. Add the 1 egg and the 1/4 cup molasses and beat until smooth.
2. On top of this molasses mixture, pour the 2 and 1/4 cups flour (don’t mix yet!!) then pour on top of the flour the 2 teaspoons baking soda, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ginger, and the 1/2 teaspoon cloves. Gently stir with to start to incorporate these dry ingredients into the molasses batter, then using you mixer again blend until combined. Don’t over mix! At the end, use your spoon again to make sure all the dry ingredients have blending into the batter. Place the bowl in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
3. After the 2 hours, preheat oven to 350. Pour the 1/2 cup of white sugar into a bowl or on a plate. Roll to cookie dough into ball about the size of a walnut, then roll in the sugar to completely cover all sides of dough. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes. I needed to bake 3 batches, hence the cook time of 27 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little more white sugar.
Do not skip the step of chilling the dough! If you do you’ll have cookies that are way too flat.
Adapted from: The Food Charlatan