Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas and at my house, since we get our tree about five minutes before we open gifts, that aroma -- of ginger and spice -- emanates from the kitchen.

I was anxious to try this vintage recipe for molasses cookies because it was deemed so valuable by the housewife who kept it in her recipe box that she rewrote the fading original recipe on a new piece of paper, and stapled both together.

These cookies are absolutely delicious and pack a lot of flavor, but like most baked goods from the 20th century, are not overly sweet. (The DS, who rarely eats baked goods, had several.)  Right from the oven, they are crisp; leave them overnight and they become chewy.  Counter intuitive, I know, but it's true.

Like most cookies, these are a snap to put together.  The time suck comes during the baking;  only six cookies fit on a sheet, so there's a lot of in-and-out of the oven.

First, the sugar, shortening (I used butter and you should too), molasses and egg are blended together.

Next, the dry ingredients, which have been mixed together in a small bowl, are added.

The dough is very sticky -- I put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm it up enough to shape into balls "the size of walnuts."  These are then rolled in sugar and placed on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Below is the original recipe, attributed to Lil Graves, followed by the copied one.  I've written out the instructions further down, to make it easier to follow, because I know you'll want to make these.

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

1 C. sugar
1 egg
4 T. molasses
3/4 C. butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and molasses and blend well.
Mix flour, baking soda and spices in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Add dry mixture to the wet mixture.  Mix well.
Place dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes if it's too sticky to handle.
Form dough into small balls, the "size of walnuts" or about 1.5 inches.
Roll balls in sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for eight to 10 minutes.  (The original recipe says 15, but these were done well before that.)


  1. Molasses cookies are the best! I've made several different recipes for my dad and we both have yet to be disappointed. I can't wait to try these. But as you noted - sticky dough! I've started piping molasses cookies using a large round tip since the dough is so sticky it won't even come out of my cookie scoop.

    1. Piping is a great idea, Dawn! I ended up putting on non-latex gloves, which I buy at Costco, and just rolling them by hand which worked fine after the dough was refrigerated.

  2. This is new for me.. i love baking, i love sweets. i must try this i'm so excited to taste this thanks for sharing your ingredients..:)

  3. The original recipe called for shortening, but you used butter. The old cook I got my recipe from swears by using shortening. That might be why yours cooked so much quicker. I keep crisco in the cabinet just for these cookies!