Soft Molasses Cookies are chewy drop cookies that are lightly spiced and rolled in sugar. They are popular for the holidays and great for gift giving. These cookies also ship well, because the molasses keeps them soft for days.
You may be wondering what the difference is between molasses cookies, ginger snaps, and even gingerbread cookies. They all contain very similar ingredients, like molasses, cinnamon, and ginger. So how do you tell them apart?
Ginger snaps are the easiest to differentiate. They are the crunchiest cookie of the bunch, hence the name. They ‘snap’ when you break them in half. Ginger snaps also contain more ginger than a molasses cookie, and sometimes bits of candied ginger.
The same can be said for gingerbread cookies -they also contain more ginger than a molasses cookie. Gingerbread cookies, however, are not baked for as long as ginger snaps, so they are a bit softer and are generally rolled out and cut into shapes, like gingerbread men.
Molasses cookies, however, contain less ginger than the other two cookies. They’re also made with all brown sugar, which makes them softer and chewier than a regular cookie. In the end, they all have similar flavors, but different textures. If you’re a fan of one, you’ll probably like them all.
These cookies bake up soft and chewy on the inside, with a light coating of turbinado sugar on the outside. They are popular in the winter months, especially during the holidays.
Soft Molasses Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar or granulated sugar, for rolling
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and molasses, stirring to fully incorporate.
- In a separate bowl, whisk (or sift) together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground ginger.
- Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined.
- Cover bowl or wrap dough in wax paper. Chill for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours) in the refrigerator. Refrigerating will help the flavors meld and also create a firmer dough to roll into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Scoop dough using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls.
- Add turbinado sugar to a small bowl. Gently roll balls in sugar to coat. Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, then allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.