Another of my favorite holiday cookies are these soft molasses cookies. Yet again, a recipe handed down from my Grandma. I remember baking these cookies on the step stool alongside Grandma in her small kitchen.
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These molasses cookies were always in the cookie jar along with Aunt Maxine’s Pecan Crescents during the holidays.
Molasses cookies are a quintessential American cookie, thought to have originated in New England. Often confused with Gingerbread cookies because both cookies use the warm winter spices of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, etc. But Gingerbread cookies do not use molasses and are not usually the soft, crinkly, cookie I remember from childhood.
Soft Molasses Cookies – Round Balls or Cookie Cutter Cookies?
Curiously, my Grandma’s handwritten recipe says to roll out the dough and cut it with cookie cutters. I don’t remember ever doing that! We always rolled the dough into small balls, coated the balls in sugar, and baked them into round cookies.
Traditionally coated in white sugar, you can get creative and use red or green sugar for even more holiday spirit. If you want to roll out the dough, you now have an opportunity to use those cookie cutters you keep in the drawer. But much like Gingerbread, you can cut this dough into any shape and then decorate with icing.
Make-Ahead and Store These Cookies!
You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Unbaked cookie dough balls (before rolling in sugar) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar—Bake as directed.
Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw the cookies overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving.
Things To Know When Baking These Cookies
- Very Important!!! When you add the baking soda to the molasses, there will be a reaction! Your cup of molasses will nearly double in size. Make sure to use a container large enough to handle this.
- In my research, I haven’t come across many recipes for molasses cookies that use sour cream. I think the addition of the dairy makes these cookies more cake-like and less chewy.
- As always, using silcone baking mats means you don’t need to grease the cookie sheets (saves time). And using air-bake cookie sheets will often save you from over baking the cookies and having burnt bottoms.
These soft molasses cookies are just the thing you want to leave for Santa. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice make for a great treat with a cold glass of milk.
- 3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup molasses (dark molasses is best)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 5 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Additional white sugar for coating the cookies before baking
- Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, to the butter and sugar mixture and combine completely.
- Dissolve the baking soda in the molasses, then add the molasses to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture.
- Add the remaining spices and salt to the 5 cups of flour and sift to mix well.
- Add the flour and sour cream to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture, alternating the flour and the sour cream.
- When all ingredients are well incorporated, place the cookie dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 and prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat
- Roll the dough into balls using about a tablespoon of dough for each ball.
- Roll each ball in white sugar and place on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 9 - 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest on cookie sheet for 2 more minutes before placing on a cooling rack.
When you add the baking soda to the molasses, there will be a reaction and your liquid will nearly double in size. Make sure you use a big enough bowl to contain the growth!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
The nutritional information provided here is an estimate. Variations can occur depending on the ingredients used.