Baking these chewy ginger molasses cookies will make your home smell like Christmas. They’re delicious too! So bake a batch and get into the holiday spirit.
Happy 1st of December everyone! (I cannot believe it either.)
Last Monday we had very chocolatey chocolate crinkles. To continue our Christmas cookie week, today we have chewy ginger molasses cookies, another holiday favourite.
There’s just something about these cookies that screams Christmas. The first time I baked these was in the summer and I immediately got why this is a go-to Christmas cookie. It’s sweet, indulgent and the spices used are like a tight hug in cookie form.
Let’s get baking!
What are molasses?
First of all, what are molasses? Sounds like an alien life form or a really scary chemical, right?
But they are simply (and I’m quoting directly from Google here): a thick, dark brown syrup obtained from sugar cane during the refining process, a version of which is used in baking.
So bottomline: they’re sugar syrup.
What can you substitute for molasses in baking?
Just be aware (and this is true for most substitutions in baking) that there will be slight (sometimes significant) changes in taste, texture and appearance. Here’s a great reference about molasses substitutions.
Do you need to chill your cookie batter before baking?
Now that’s out of the way, baking these ginger molasses cookies is easy. You do need to chill the dough for at least an hour though (one time, I left my dough in the fridge overnight and it was still okay). Otherwise, they will be very hard to work with and will spread considerably.
Do you need to chill all cookie batters before baking? Some bakers do it 100% of the time but I don’t.
For me, it depends on how soft the batter is. If it’s very sticky to begin with and I want to prevent it from spreading too thinly, I pop it in the fridge for an hour or so before baking, like what I did with these White Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies.
Otherwise, straight to the oven they go, like these Chewy Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies.
Do you need to flatten your cookies before baking?
So no flattening for me 90% of the time, except for these Healthy Superfood Breakfast Cookies because they do not spread at all.
These ginger molasses cookies spread to kingdom come even after a good amount of time in the fridge so for a meatier cookie, don’t bother flattening these cookies at all before baking. No matter what you do they will spread so why help the process?
That’s just me though. Experiment with your cookies and see what you like.
How long do these ginger molasses cookies stay fresh?
A lovely thing about these cookies is they stay fresh for days. I put mine in a regular cookie jar and 1 week in (I know, what’s wrong with us?) they were still good as new. That makes them awesome Christmas presents!
So if you’re looking to give cookies away this holiday season, take these chewy ginger molasses cookies for a spin. There’s a reason they are a holiday favourite!
Related: How to Make Homemade Chocolate Bark
Other foodie presents for the holidays
If you’re looking to give away other foodie presents this Christmas, here are other delicious options:
Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 pc large egg room temperature
- 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
- zest 1 orange
- 1/4 cup light molasses
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar for coating
- In a large bowl, sift 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. Set aside.
- Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 3/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar until creamy and significantly paler in colour (about 3 minutes on medium-high speed).
- Add the egg and beat until well incorporated. Then add 1 tablespoon orange juice, orange zest, 1/4 cup light molasses and stir until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl as needed.
- Add your flour mixture in 3 parts and stir until each addition is incorporated.
- Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F.
- Scoop the dough into 1 inch balls and thoroughly coat in granulated sugar before placing on your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. The cookies will spread so space them about 2-3 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are starting to get crispy. Cool slightly on the cookie sheet (about 2 minutes) before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Did you make ginger molasses cookies? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
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(This post was updated on 26 November 2018.)