Best Old-Fashioned Molasses Sugar CookiesPerfectly spiced old-fashioned molasses cookies (Aunt Linda’s treasured recipe) – crispy on the edges with a soft, chewy center. Our family and friends think these are the best molasses cookies around, Santa agrees! These nostalgic cookies are a cinch to make and are a wonderful addition to holiday cookie trays, perfect for cookie swaps too. They also make a wonderful gift.
I made this batch of cookies with my sister during my visit to Alaska last month. I have wanted to add this recipe to my blog for years. So a special thank you to my sister, Anastasia, for all the baking we did during my trip.
For this recipe, the dough is made ahead of time and refrigerated. We always make the dough the night before. The dough needs to be thoroughly chilled, which takes approximately 4-6 hours.
Please note, when the dough is thoroughly chilled and ready to be rolled, the dough will be very stiff.
If you are looking for a terrific molasses cookie recipe, just like grandma used to make – look no further!
Old-Fashioned Molasses Sugar Cookies
Aunt Linda’s Recipe
- *1 1/2 cups butter or Parkay Original Margarine, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar (granulated)
- 1/2 cup dark molasses
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Turbinado or Sparkling sugar to coat the unbaked cookies.
In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs and molasses until completely blended.
In a separate large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and mix well until combined completely. Cover the dough tightly and refrigerate overnight.
When dough is ready to bake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and coat them with Turbinado sugar. Bake the cookies on a sheet pan, placed 1-2 inches apart for 10-12 min. The cookies should crackle on top and have golden edges.
Recipe makes 6 to 8 dozen, depending on size.
IMPORTANT – The dough needs to be thoroughly chilled. When the dough is thoroughly chilled and ready to be rolled, it will be very stiff. Allow at least 4 to 6 hours to chill.
If you were to ask my aunt which to use, butter or Parkay, she would say (passionately), Parkay! The original recipe, which dates back to 1981, calls for Parkay Original Margarine. Parkay can sometimes be difficult to find, especially in Alaska. If you can’t find Parkay, use butter – the cookies turn out wonderful! When it comes to margarine, I recommend ONLY using PARKAY ORIGINAL MARGARINE. Some brands of margarine have a higher water content and will make the cookies super flat.
Do you flatten these cookies before baking?
No Lynn, do not flatten before baking.
I was given a recipe very similar to this one, in the instructions it says to bake cookies until golden brown on edges and the center is puffy, then take them out of oven and slam the cookie sheet on the counter to make them deflate. It works! Makes cookies with a crisp edge and a nice chewy center.
If butter is used, should it be salted or unsalted. I wish I could print the recipe with a picture.
Linda, salted butter. And sorry there is no photo with the printout for the recipe,
Can these be made with sugar substitutes? My husband is diabetic but would love these!
Julie, I have not used sugar substitute, but maybe someone has and will see your question and let you know.
I learned to make these cookies when I was in Bluebirds. Has been a favorite foe all these years, I am 62 now.
Thx for sharing this recipe can I use the parkay squares instead as I have it at home…
Susan Marie Wood
My molasses cookies are turning out really flat and not crinkly on the top. I used unsalted butter for the recipe. What can I do to help them???!!!!
How can you adjust the recipe so that it is hard and crunchy throughout? We don’t really like any softness to our cookies. Thanks!
You can try cooking them at lower temp for a bit longer. Other ways to make cookies “crunchier” is to use an all purpose flour or you can try eliminating the egg. Using real butter will make cookies crunchier as well. 😊
The sugar to coat them, does regular sugar work too?
Something about this websites recipes. It’s like magic. I tried the chocolate chip cookies and the molasses and they both looked and tasted just like the bakery. It’s amazing. First cookie success ever!!
A must try, sounds yummy!!
Can I use real butter instead of margarine?
I have found it difficult to scoop the dough when it is very chilled. So now I form the balls while the dough is still softer, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and fill it with the balls. Then I chill the entire pan. When they come out of the fridge I roll them in the sugar and proceed as directed. Much easier on my arthritic old hands.
Anonymous – Turbinado sugar is sugar in the raw.
Head here to read/learn more: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/about/turbinado-sugar-45
Hi MaryJane, Sorry to hear. It sounds like your baking soda may not be fresh. Try using fresh baking soda.
Why do my cookies not want to crack and when I take them out of the oven then go all flat like pancakes and they are all gooie in the middle
What is turbinado or sparkling sugar?
Are these cookies good for freezing?
Happy baking, Annetta!
Thank you, Marsha! We had a great visit and did tons of baking and cooking for the blog. I'm excited to share the rest of the recipes!
O,K. Thank you very much. Now on to the cookies……..
There are 3 sticks of butter in the photo above – they are short and fat, you can't really see the other stick. You need 1 and 1/2 cups of butter for this recipe, Annette. *Not all sticks of butter are 1/2 cup each.
In the recipe it calls for 1 and a half cups of butter which is 3 sticks yet the pic of the ingredients it shows one and a half sticks. Which is right?
I LOVE Molasses cookies! How awesome is it that you got to bake these with your sis and to be able to share this priceless recipe with all of us!!!!