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Handmade Holidays: Sarah’s Molasses-Spice Cookies

Friends, I love cookies. I do, I love them all. But there’s a special place in my heart for molasses cookies, with their crisp corners and chewy everything else. Molasses cookies stole my heart a long time ago, and now I cannot wait to try this recipe! Sarah is visiting from It’s all in my head. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

When we got married, the majority of gifts at our wedding shower were baking-related, likely in the hopes that I would return the generosity with baked goods. I hope my friends weren’t disappointed.

One of the gifts was a big cookie jar and the Good Housekeeping cookbook “Cookies!”

I was browsing this book one evening, probably about 4-5 years ago, looking for some simple cookie recipes to make for my husband to take with him to work on the day of a sale. Sugar keeps the employees moving and smiling, after all.

I wanted a recipe that wasn’t a huge amount of work, but which would be delicious.
Chewy Molasses-Spice Cookies it was! I was initially attracted because, hey, when have you ever seen a cookie recipe call for pepper and mustard? But these cookies turned out delicious and are now a wintertime staple for us, and for anyone that I make cookies for in the colder months.

So here they are:

Chewy Molasses-Spice Cookies from Good Housekeeping Cookies!
You need enough moles to gather ½ cup of . . .
What? No? Well, so the joke goes in our house. But let’s keep it classy, I suppose.

You need…
2 cups all-purpose flour
1&½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
½ cup butter or margarine (1 stick), softened
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup light (mild) molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

0. I start by getting out all the ingredients, especially the butter and the egg, and then abandoning everything for half an hour or so while I go off to do other random things. This gives the butter and egg time to come to room temperature and soften. Well, the egg doesn’t soften. If it does, toss it out and get a fresh one.

The ingredients, except for the vanilla (oops!). (The port, olive oil and garlic in the background aren’t part of the recipe. At least not my recipe.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, pepper, cloves and mustard.
Mmm, the smell of the season.

3. In a large bowl, with a mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low and beat in the egg and vanilla until blended. Beat in the flour mixture until combined, scraping the bowl occasionally with a spatula.
I guesstimate the molasses, as measuring it and then scraping it out of the measuring cup is a pain in the molasses. I’ve estimated a jar of molasses is about 2 cups, so there are about 4 recipe servings per jar, as it were. Also, um, note to self, be careful with the flour mixture or you’ll have a fine dusting of flour and spices over your entire kitchen.

The wet and dry ingredients combined…

Everything combined!

4. Drop the dough, by rounded tablespoons, 3 inches apart, on an ungreased large cookie sheet. I use a disher (melon scoop thingy, to me at least) to scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet. That way, they’re all the same size and cook evenly.

Scooping out the dough. Added bonus of not only licking the paddles of the mixer, but also the scoop!

5. Bake until flattened and evenly browned, 13-15 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet on a wire rack for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. I cook my first batch at around 11-12 minutes, and each successive batch at around 10-11. This will depend on your oven (mine clearly cooks faster than the Good Housekeeping oven), but also on your preference for chewy versus crunchy. Me, I’m a chewy cookie person. John would prefer I leave them in for another 2 minutes or so.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • pinksuedeshoe December 15, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I am so going to try these, I’ve been on the hunt for some good one’s for a while now! A little tip about measuring molasses: dump about a tablespoon of oil into your measuring cup first and swirl it around in there for a minute, so it kind of coats all the sides. Then dump it out and pour in your molasses. The molasses pours out like milk, it’s amazing!

  • Sarah December 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    The oil in the cup is a great idea, and I do that all the time when I make granola and add oil and then honey. Not sure why I never thought of it for this, but thanks!

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