Big Chewy Molasses Cookies
This recipe for Big Chewy Molasses Cookies feels like a treasure. It’s one that was in the rotation of baked goods my mom made when I was growing up. I always knew when a batch was in the oven simply by smell. Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, butter, and molasses makes for some serious aromatherapy when you’re eight.
A Special Sort of Cookie
What made these treats particularly special was the cook behind the cookies. The recipe came from Bobbie Evans, a friend of my mom’s, who, to my grade school self, was as close to motherhood perfection as a girl could come by. She was that mom, the one who always had the good snacks, a warm smile and ready hug, a pretty house with freshly painted shutters, and clothes that made her look like she walked off the pages of a Talbot’s catalog (which I considered the pinnacle of fashion). I loved Bobbie’s cookies because they were outstanding, but also because I just loved Bobbie.
Chewy or Crispy, Your Choice
These cookies are distinct in size and scale. The dough spreads significantly as the cookies bake, resulting in big, thin discs. The key to getting the right texture is baking time. If you want them on the chewier side, pull them out of the oven after 10 minutes. Let them bake an additional two minutes for a pleasingly crisp cookie, if that’s more to your liking.
Tips for Big Chewy Molasses Cookies
It’s always handy to have a few insider tips when it comes to baking something new. These pointers may help:
- Limit the number of cookies to about six per baking sheet. If you bake too many at once, they’ll merge.
- Press the cookies before baking. I like to moisten the bottom of a glass jar, dip it into a dish of sugar, then gently flatten the cookies.
- Keep an eye on the oven. You are looking for the cookies to spread out then begin to darken. The darker the cookie, the crispier it will be.
- Let them cool for at least five minutes. The cookies need to cool and firm up before you dive in.
Can you Refrigerate or Freeze the Cookie Dough?
Yes! The dough for these cookies refrigerates and freezes fabulously. Lay the dough into a log shape on a large piece of parchment. Roll it up in the parchment so that it’s about two inches in diameter. Twist the ends and store in the fridge, where it will be good for about three days. If freezing, cover the parchment in two layers of plastic wrap and stash in the freezer for up to two months. When ready to bake, defrost frozen dough on the counter for an hour or so. Cut the dough into 1/3-inch-thick slices, invert each slice in a dish of sugar, and bake as instructed in the recipe (no need to press with a glass jar).
If you like these Big Chewy Molasses cookies, check out:
Bobbie’s Big Chewy Molasses Cookies
- 6 ounces butter (12 tbsp, salted or unsalted)
- 1 packed cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour), spooned into the measuring cup and leveled
- 1 scant teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- Several tablespoons sugar for finishing the cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, about 1 minute.
Add the egg and molasses and continue to beat until blended and evenly brown, another 30 seconds or so.
Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to the bowl with the butter and sugar. Using a fork, whisk the dry ingredients together with a few strokes. Use the electric mixer to beat all the ingredients together, slowly at first, then increasing the speed to high, until creamy, and smooth, another 30 seconds.
Arrange 6 tablespoon-size balls of dough on each cookie sheet. Put granulated sugar into a small, shallow dish. Moisten the bottom of a jelly jar or drinking glass with water. Dip the bottom of the jar into the sugar and then press down to flatten a cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Bake until the cookies spread into large disks and begin to darken. Chewy cookies take about 10 minutes. For crispy cookies, bake for 12 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before lifting from the baking sheet. Store in a cookie tin or jar with a tight lid.
Recipe credit: Bobbie Evans