It’s Christmas cookie season and let’s kick it off with these Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies! Each one is perfectly thin, super soft and chewy, and loaded with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves for amazing flavor. If you want a quick and easy holiday cookie recipe, this is it my friend! Plus, they have a great shelf life as well so you can make them ahead of time.
When I was younger, I thought I hated molasses cookies because my only frame of reference was my mom’s homemade gingerbread she made for our annual decorating of gingerbread houses. Of course, because they needed to be sturdy, her gingerbread was dry and hard. Perfect for construction of houses, not great for eating 🙂
Then I came upon this recipe and my Christmas cookie life has forever been changed for the better!
What is molasses?
Think of molasses as the leftovers of the sugar making process! First, sugar cane or sugar beets are crushed and the juice from that crushing is boiled down, which causes crystals of sugar to form. Once those sugar crystals have been removed, molasses is the thick, dark brown syrup that is left behind.
The darker the molasses, the more times the syrup has undergone this process. Darker molasses is also less sweet because it contains less sugar.
Can I add frosting to these Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies?
I know you will love these cookies just like they are, but of course you can take it up a notch! You could do just a light layer of powdered sugar glaze or if you are really looking to go the extra mile with these bad boys, try a cream cheese frosting on top. And since it is Christmas, you could also add some festive sprinkles on top before the frosting hardens.
If you plan to freeze them for storage, don’t frost them until you need them. Freezing frosting just never goes that well.
How long can I store the cookies?
Since Christmas cookies generally need to last a bit longer, you have two storage options:
- Room Temperature Storage: seal them in an airtight container for up to 7 days. They won’t go bad after that but they do start to dry out and get crumbly.
- Freezer Storage: these molasses cookies freeze extremely well. Create a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid, about 4 hours. Once frozen, move them into an airtight container or bag and keep them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Freezing them individually allows you to easily pull out a few at a time.
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Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies
These Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies come together in just a few minutes and are soft and chewy every time! Perfect for the holidays.
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 22 cookies 1x
3/4 cups butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*extra sugar for rolling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Using a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow in color and fluffy. Around 2-3 minutes. Don’t skip this step!
- Beat in the egg and molasses until combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and kosher salt. Mix until dough comes together.
- Create 1-inch balls of dough and roll them in sugar until coated on the outside.
- Bake for 8 minutes until cookies begin to crack slightly on top. Do not overbake!
- Remove from oven and let cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 130
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 151 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 20 mg
Keywords: Christmas cookies, Holiday cookies
These were amazing! I loved how easy they came together. I’m going to freeze some and see if I can keep my family from eating them all before Christmas.
Thank you Kate for coming back and leaving your review! It helps out so much….and good luck keeping those hands out of the cookies in the freezer 😉
Do you have a favorite frosting recipe for these?
Hi Stacey! I don’t frost them but you could take a cup or two of powdered sugar and add a few dashes of milk to create a simple glaze.