Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chewy molasses spice cookies

I have been going crazy over cookies these past couple of weeks but I’ve been keeping it a secret. Reason being, the next few days, from today and up until Christmas, are going to be dedicated to cookies here on the blog!

I have wanted to do a themed week for as long as I can remember but never got around to it. Perhaps I was a bit lazy and it was certainly difficult to find time to do it, but now I decided to make time because I want to get all of you excited about making cookies as well. Not that many of you need your arm twisted to start baking, but perhaps some of you are in need of a gentle nudge to get into the holiday spirit.

For the last couple of weeks I have been baking cookies morning, noon and night, testing new recipes, revisiting old ones, photographing, keeping notes, eating lots and lots of them. And I’m not done yet. I have yet a couple to make.

So, let’s start with the first ones, these chewy molasses and spice cookies. Yes, I am aware that I have been posting American recipes lately, but it is a complete coincidence. I don’t know how it happened, honestly, but I’m not complaining one bit.

These cookies are full of molasses flavor and the aroma of ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. They are chewy in the middle and crisp around the edges, and the sugar coating makes them pleasantly crunchy. The dark brown sugar adds more sweetness but don’t go thinking that they are sickly sweet, no, they are just right, especially when eaten with a cup of strong coffee.

Now is the time to revel in the process of making cookies. Make them alone on a quiet afternoon, with your significant other, with your kids, your friends. Gift them to the ones you love because there is no better gift than a handmade one, especially when it comes in the form of a sweet cookie.

Happy baking!

Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appétit

I used demerara sugar to roll the cookies in. Demerara is an unrefined sugar with large granules that gives the cookies an extra crunch, but you can also use granulated white sugar.

The easiest way to measure molasses or any other sticky ingredient like honey, glucose syrup, etc., without sticking to the measuring jug, is by oiling well its bottom and sides (I use sunflower oil). Remove the excess oil from the jug and pour the molasses inside. Empty it onto the rest of your ingredients and watch how easily the molasses pours out of the jug, without sticking to it one bit.

Yield: 30 cookies

260 g all-purpose flour
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
65 g caster sugar
60 g soft dark brown sugar
115 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
80 ml molasses
1 large egg

Demerara sugar for rolling

Special equipment: hand wire whisk, plastic wrap, 1 or 2 large baking sheets, baking paper

In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, baking soda and salt, and whisk. Whisking the dry ingredients is similar to sifting them but easier.

In a large bowl, add the caster and soft dark brown sugar, the melted and cooled butter, the molasses and the egg. Whisk vigorously with a hand wire whisk (no need for electrical) until the ingredients are well blended. You’re not looking to make the mixture fluffy or airy but just to mix together the ingredients well.

Add the dry ingredients and whisk just to combine. Switch to a spatula when the mixture becomes too thick to whisk and make sure there are no white spots from the flour in the resulting dough.
You should have a soft and pliable cookie dough that’s slightly sticky to the hands.
Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. The dough will firm up a bit and it will be less sticky and easier to work with.

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius / 375 Fahrenheit.
Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a large plate, add demerara sugar.
Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and using the 1 Tbsp measuring spoon, scoop out dough and shape into small balls. Roll them in the demerara sugar and place them onto the prepared baking sheet(s), spacing them 5 cm apart because they will spread considerably while baking.

Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake cookies for 8-9 minutes, until they are puffed, cracked and just set around the edges.
Take the baking sheet out of the oven and place the second one in.

Allow the cookies to stand on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store them in a cookie tin for up to five days.


  1. Such a classic cookie, and for good reason! Ginger and molasses are the best. NOM. :)

  2. These look delicious. For some strange reason I have three jars of molasses in my pantry. These look like the perfect use for some of it. Definitely making these right now.

  3. I just baked 80 butter Christmas cookies for my daughter and her friends to decorate at her sleepover birthday party and today I am decorating more for her school fundraiser so I am all out of cookie energy this week, but I love yours and am still getting ideas for next time!

  4. LOL, I do need some incentive to get me going on baking cookies. Seriously. I love eating them but I think I'm allergic to baking them...
    I'm sure your themed week will get me in the mood. Fingers crossed! :)

  5. Eileen — for me it's a novelty because I'm not used to making these type of cookies but rather the traditional Greek ones. They sure taste great!

    Elizabeth — yes! I think it's a good idea :)

    Nuts about food — 80 cookies?? Wow! I can understand you are all done for this year huh?

    Ondina Maria — I hope so too! :) I'm not the person to bake cookies like crazy but this year something happened. I just needed to make cookies!

  6. I made these yesterday. i used honey instead of molasses, because I never have molasses at hand. I omitted the dark brown sugar (also none at hand!), and used only 90 gr. of sugar, because usually cookies are too sweet for me. I used the exact quantities od spices stipulated and had to let the dough in the fridge for a bit longer that 30 min. I baked them for 10 minutes. They are excellent! Plenty sweet (the demerara adds significantly to that) and fantastically aromatic! Thank you!

  7. Hi there. I'm glad you enjoyed them and it's good to know honey worked out well here. The aroma is something else, right? It just fills the house!

  8. you have succeeded in making me all motivated to make some cookies, and these ones would be a good start!

  9. These remind me a lot of my mother's - actually, grandmother's - recipe for molasses crinkles. I love them! I love that you used raw sugar, too. Do I remember you once saying that cookies weren't your favorite? You have certainly fooled me - especially with the baci di dame today! ~ David

    1. You have a good memory. Yes, cookies and biscuits are not my favorite, by this year something clicked and I am in the mood for them. Baci di dama are more than a cookie! I'm partial to sandwich cookies especially ones with chocolate.

  10. Second tray in my oven as we speak! First batch has already been sampled... They look, smell, taste fantastic. Sprinkled some sumac on top of them and loved it (then again I love sumac on just about anything), I think I'll use less salt next time and do the sumac thing. A favourite recipe for sure, thanks.

  11. PS:the trick with the oil for the molasses: genius!