Molasses Spice Cookies


There’s a reason the rhyme says, “Cinnamon, spice, and all that’s nice.”  For me there’s nothing that says autumn like the smell of warm spice cookies wafting from the oven.  Which doesn’t explain why I’m baking these cookies now when it’s in the mid-90s and the kitchen, with the oven on full-blast, feels like a deep-core Dwarven smeltery.  No matter, I can still pretend that after Labor Day autumn is almost upon us, and baking a batch of these cookies lets me dream of cool breezes, dry orange leaves skittering like loose paper across a path, and geese honking their way south for the winter.


How easy is it to make these cookies?  SO…F***KING…EASY!  If you’ve made chocolate chip cookies this is just a modified recipe.  I find the only thing to watch out for is the cookies burning on the bottom.  If you have one of those ancient cookie sheets that’s the colored of burnt espresso, the kind that absorbs all light in the known universe, that will most likely burn the sugar on these cookies.  So buy yourself a nice thick pure aluminum sheet from a restaurant supply company and leave the Teflon-coated crap for lesser bakers.  Now on with the recipe!


1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup molasses

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 375.  Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s smooth and mixed.  Add in the egg, vanilla, molasses and beat until smooth.  Mix together all the dry ingredients and spices and slowly add them to the wet ingredients.  Now take a deep breath of the spicy goodness and pour some sugar in a bowl.  If you spill some on the counter, let someone else clean it up.  You’re making cookies, after all, it’s a public service.  Now roll a 1-inch diameter ball in your palms and roll it in the sugar.  If you think the dough is too sticky, just trust me and roll those balls.  Place these on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, rotating halfway through to ensure even baking.


These cookies will stay soft for several days though they probably will be eaten far before that.  Try them dipped in a cup of warm chai while you hum the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving soudtrack.

  1. Douglas said:

    Parchment paper, Peter, parchment paper! and alliteration, too. Happy Birthday!

    • Aha! I knew there would be an ancient Chinese secret for not burning sugar on my cookies. Funny thing is, I just bought a ton of parchment for baking and didn’t think to use it for this. Next time I’ll have parchment-lined pans and perfectly-baked cookies!

      • Douglas said:

        Not an ancient Chinese secret, but an American or European cookie technique to having a beautiful cookie bottom. Remember those cookies that I made for Christmas when I lived in San Diego? Yep, parchment paper.

  2. Babs said:

    Oh, for heaven’s sake! Just pack them up and send them to me! YUM!

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