Spiced Molasses Cookies

cinnamon, ginger & cloves

I usually make these cookies once a year, but I think I got distracted last year. It’s already the end of October, if you can believe it. It will be November on Saturday. It’s madness. I figured that I’d get these cookies made straight away before the holidays tear me apart and leave me for dead. It’s always good to be prepared. I love these cookies. I have a soft, doughy spot in my heart for molasses. I know that some people find it to be too strong, but I don’t believe in such a thing. I love how robust it is, and how it will immediately put you into the spirit of the season. Even though I generally hate anything involving being forced into feeling cheerful and whatnot, these cookies will do the trick and I don’t hate them for it. After biting into one of these, chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside from being rolled in sugar, I’m just going to sink into a deep pool of molasses and the holiday season take me over. It’s not all so bad – Thanksgiving is next, which is my favorite holiday of all, so there’s that to look forward to! I just hate all of the ruckus and running around and buying, buying, buying that comes with the season. I need to make a truce with all of the people that I love that we don’t need to get each other gifts. I live in a 650 square foot apartment and I have no more room for “stuff”. I already have a lightsaber, a True Detective painting and a KitchenAid mixer. What else could a girl ask for? Holiday anxiety aside, these cookies are awesome and you should make them.

spiced molasses cookies

I took these photos a few weeks ago when our friends Adrian and Kelly were visiting from Phoenix. We decided to visit Prospect Park on day, as Kramer and I love it and think it’s much more fun for wandering around than Central Park. It seems more peaceful to me. We started at Grand Army Plaza, grabbed a coffee from one of the food trucks, and just walked around for a few hours. The day couldn’t have been more beautiful – perfectly sunny, cool but not cold – so I was happy we got to show our friends the best that Brooklyn had to offer. We always seem to take guests to Prospect Park, from friends to parents, because it’s an amazing place to spend an afternoon. I’d like to take at least one more trip back before winter rears its ugly head. There’s nothing more beautiful than a park full of changing leaves, don’t you think? Especially if you get to the park in time to find a cozy, quiet spot to enjoy yourself without frisbees flying over your head or junior soccer leagues lobbing soccer balls all over the place. I’ll allow dogs, though. I’m always happy to dog watch in the park. Maybe with some of these cookies?

spiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesHigh five? No?

spiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesHey, duck.

spiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesUntil next time!

spiced molasses cookiesSo – your cookie ingredients.

spiced molasses cookiesI ground my spices in a spice grinder, but not all of the pieces came out smoothly, so I used a mesh sieve to separate the bigger bits.

spiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesBring your dough together – try not to eat it all!

spiced molasses cookiesThen roll out ball of dough, roll them in sugar and bake until crackly and set.

spiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookiesAllow to cool a bit before devouring.

spiced molasses cookiesspiced molasses cookies

Spiced Molasses Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30 cookies
Chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside molasses cookies with plenty of winter spices to keep you warm!
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground star anise (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅔ cup molasses
  • 1 cup raw or granulated sugar, for rolling
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, star anise and black pepper. If you have whole spices, you can grind up the ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, star anise and black pepper in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, otherwise pre-ground is fine. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine your brown sugar and butter, and beat until well combined, at least 3 minutes (if you do not incorporate your sugar and butter properly, the cookies will fall flat). Add in your egg, beat to combine, then add in your egg yolk, and beat to combine. Pour in your molasses and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add in the flour, 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth and just moistened.
  3. Place your 1 cup of raw or granulated sugar in a bowl and line your baking sheets with parchment and/or grease well. Place 2-tablespoon sized dollops (or use a cookie scoop, my secret weapon) in the bowl, and roll them around until they are covered well in the sugar. Place the cookies about 1-1/2 inches apart on your baking sheet (I did about 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for 10-12 minutes, until just set but now browned. Allow to cool slightly before storing and/or serving. These will keep well in an airtight container for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.


11 Responses

  1. I like making a solid molasses cookie once a year too. They remind me of living at home when I as young. I also like that almost everyone has a different recipe for them. Definitely need to try these.

  2. I loooove a good molasses cookie! I haven’t had one with star anise though, so this one is definitely on my must try list!

  3. Molasses too strong? Never. Loving the addition of anise to these!

  4. natashaslastbite says:

    My roommate comes home with day old molasses cookies from the coffee shop she works at, and they’re to die for. Soft, rolled in sugar. I’ve been craving to try to make them myself, yours will be my guide. those crackly tops tho xx

  5. These look yummy! I made a molasses similar to this with crystalized ginger. Love your photos! Love your blog!

  6. These have officially made it to my “to bake” list. Not to be confused with a “to do” list. “to bake” is so much more important. They look super yummy and you had me at chewy on the inside :)

  7. These look amazing. Spice cookies are the best.

  8. rivka g says:

    need to make these asap!!! looks amazing!

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  10. Bill Good says:

    Hi, Sydney. First off, I thoroughly enjoy your blog; it’s a favorite of mine! I wanted to drop in and let you know that I made the Spiced Molasses Cookies over the holidays, and they have been a scrumptious hit! I baked them with my mom, while she was visiting my husband and me for Christmas. We had so much fun baking them, and they made the apartment smell delicious! As an aside, these cookies pair very well with salted caramel ice cream. 😀 Happy New Year!

  11. kendallhalin says:

    Woah, mine came out humungous. I used 2 tbsp of dough per cookie, like the recipe recommends, and they’re a little bigger than the size of my palm! Just fyi to anyone making these, they’re delicious but they’re BIG!

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