For Christmas a few years ago, my Grandma gave me a copy of a family cookbook that several of my second cousins had put together, highlighting many of the favorite dishes that have been passed down over the generations.
The recipes, for things like fluffy buttermilk biscuits, the “perfect” turkey gravy, and split pea soup (with a ham hock thrown in for good measure), tell a story not only of great Southern food, but of memories and love shared around our family tables.
These chewy, flavorful molasses cookies come from my great Aunt Marie – a woman who, every morning, made those aforementioned biscuits from scratch. Yes, really.
When I came across these gingery little treats in the book while looking for new holiday cookie recipes, they instantly became favorites, and I’ve made them multiple times every holiday season since
Though they’re unassuming little cookies, and maybe even look boring, they more than make up for it with a winning, chewy texture and tons of flavor, thanks to dark, sweet molasses, fresh ginger, and warming spices.
And while you can gussy up their sparkly, crackled tops with a dip in dark chocolate and a sprinkling of holiday nonpareils, I actually love these spicy molasses cookies best plain, perhaps alongside a cozy cup of coffee or cocoa. Happy baking!!
Originally published on December 20th, 2012. I’m (slowly) going back through my recipe archives, updating some of my favorites with new photos and information.
- 3/4 cups (1–1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room-temperature
- 1 cup organic (granulated) cane sugar, plus more for rolling
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, crushed or finely minced
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- Melt the butter. Set aside to cool to room-temperature.
- Using an electric stand-up fitted with the paddle attachment, or handheld mixer, mix together the molasses, sugar and egg on medium speed until completely combined, about a minute. Add the melted butter and ginger, and mix until combined.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Turn the mixer down to low-speed, and add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, a quarter cup or so at a time, until combined. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar to a shallow bowl. Gently form the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the sugar. Add more sugar to the bowl as needed. Place the cookies on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet about 2-inches apart. For thicker cookies, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and cracks have begun to form. The spaces between the cracks may appear undone, that’s okay. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire baking rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room-temperature