These chewy ginger molasses cookies have a subtle sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth. Roll them in sparkling sugar, decorate them with royal icing or white chocolate, or just leave them plain! Add sprinkles for some holiday flair! Add these to your Christmas cookie collection.
Tough to name, easy to make
Ever heard of soft ginger molasses cookies (or maybe Maine molasses cookies)? These might sound similar, but they’re not the same. Those are more soft and cakey, while these are thinner and chewy.
I went back and forth about what to call these cookies:
- I couldn’t call them gingerbread cookies because they have molasses in them
- But I also couldn’t call them ginger snap cookies because they’re far from snappy
- And I didn’t want to just call them chewy ginger cookies because then the molasses will feel left out and sad
I remembered hearing about old fashioned ginger molasses cookies, and these probably most closely resemble those. So I decided to go with Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies.
But frankly, the name doesn’t matter – the flavor does all the talking.
This recipe for ginger molasses cookies is great, because the smell isn’t overwhelming like gingerbread can be when it’s baking – it’s actually pretty subtle, and I prefer it that way. I’m one of those people that finds the scent of gingerbread to be less than desirable, even when it’s done right.
The mix of ginger is tamed a little by the molasses, so you won’t feel like you live inside of a gingerbread house when you make these. If that’s what you’re looking for… well, I can’t actually say that I’d blame you. A house made of cookies and candy. Sign me up.
How to make ginger molasses cookies
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients
- In a large bowl using a stand or hand mixer , beat to combine the wet ingredients
- Add the dry mixture to the wet and beat on low speed until combined
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out even portions of dough and place them in the fridge for 1-2 hours to chill (this helps develop the flavors and prevents them from spreading too much)
- Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes, and let them cool so you don’t burn your mouth!
The actual prep time is really only 15 minutes or so, but the chilling takes the most time. Don’t skip it! I promise it’s worth it.
Why put molasses in cookies?
Molasses is great because it provides a unique flavor, but it also acts as a liquid sweetener (to a degree). Because it also adds moisture, you can’t just swap granulated and/or brown sugar for it entirely, but it does help reduce the amounts you need of each of those ingredients.
Different ways to decorate these cookies
I wanted to test the results three different ways:
- Some rolled in King Arthur Flour’s Sparkling White Sugar
- Some rolled in granulated sugar
- Some completely naked
Here were the results of each:
Rolled in sparkling sugar
The cookies rolled in sparkling white sugar were my favorite taste-wise because I love the crunch it provides, although they were the most difficult to get decent pictures of. They’re SO sparkly that my camera just can’t handle it!
Rolled in granulated sugar
The cookies rolled in granulated sugar were subtly sweet (and photographed nicely) – I think these would be the perfect balance for someone who doesn’t have a super sweet tooth.
No sugar coating at all
The naked cookies were no fuss and I was mesmerized by the perfectly imperfect cracks on top. I prefer a little more sweetness, but for a hardcore ginger and molasses lover, these will hit the spot.
These are also the perfect base for decorating!
Adding white chocolate
I also dipped a few in white chocolate for funsies! Just follow the instructions on the package of white chocolate to gently and slowly melt it down, and dip the cookies into the white chocolate and place on them on wax paper to set.
You could also place the white chocolate in a piping bag and drizzle it on top of the cookies instead.
I like to add a few festive sprinkles, too.
How long do ginger molasses cookies last?
You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Can I freeze ginger molasses cookies?
Yep! You could also place them in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months.
Look at that chewy goodness up close and personal – the outside of the cookies will be crinkled and set, but the inside is going to be soft and chewy. And quite frankly, that is the form of my favorite cookies – regardless of the flavor.
Ohhhh, yeah. That’s the stuff.
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ¼ cup molasses
- Sparkling sugar or granulated sugar, for rolling (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a stand or hand mixer, beat together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and molasses, and beat on medium speed until combined.
- Add in the flour mixture a little at a time and beat on low speed until combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out even portions of dough and roll each in sugar. Place each ball on parchment paper on a baking sheet or platter, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to chill.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with non stick silicon mats or parchment paper.
- Transfer dough to prepared baking sheets, at least 1-inch apart. I recommend doing 9 cookies per baking sheet, just to give yourself plenty of room.
- Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack for 10 minutes, or until the tops have just started to crack. If you'd prefer these cookies a little less chewy, leave in a minute or two longer. Remove and let cook on baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Once completely cooled, dip in white chocolate and decorate with sprinkles if desired and enjoy!