Sometimes recipes make the rounds on the internet and then disappear. This molasses cookie recipe is one that made the rounds a couple of years ago. That’s when it caught my attention. They come from Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar fame. Since I discovered it back then, I have been making these Molasses Cookies regularly and felt it was maybe due to be resurrected, for anyone who may have forgotten about it or maybe missed it the first time around.
This spicy molasses cookies recipe won’t make cookies that will win any beauty contests, but they’re one seriously addicting cookie!
These cookies aren’t real lookers. In fact, they might even be a touch on the homely side. In their store, Milk dresses them up with a royal icing drizzle. I’ve never found that necessary though. I don’t care that they aren’t pretty. I don’t care that they aren’t puffy and thick. I don’t care that they aren’t filled with chocolate or nuts. I just love their sweet/spicy taste and their combination of crispy outer edges and chewy centres. And mostly, I love the way the butter and sugar in these cookies caramelizes as they cook into something that just keeps me coming back to these cookies again and again.
When it comes to baking, the thing to know about these cookies is that they are going to bake up really flat and really big. And they spread a lot. On a half sheet pan, I cook only 6 at a time. And since this recipe make a lot of cookies, that’s a lot of batches. I look at it this way – the dozen or so times I get up and go in to the kitchen to take the sheets in and out of the oven burns enough calories to enjoy an extra cookie ;) Seriously though, if you’re not up for a bunch of batches, you might want to halve the recipe and make fewer.
As for the baking time, you’ll need to experiment a bit with the first few batches. It will vary depending on your baking sheet, oven accuracy and how you like your cookies. The original recipe suggested 18 minutes. I’ve never left mine in the oven quite that long. I cook them anywhere from 14-17 minutes. I like these cookies a little chewier, so I cook some at the lower end of the time. My husband loves them dark with more crisp, so I bake a few sheets longer.
I bake on a fairly heavy baking sheet with a Silpat. A Silpat isn’t necessary though, as a parchment lined baking sheet will work as well. That said, the baking time may also vary with a lighter pan or baking on parchment as opposed to a Silpat, so watch them closely for the first few batches. They are really soft right out of the oven, so they need to sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before you can move them to a cooling rack. They’ll continue cooking a wee bit as they site on the baking sheet, so bear that in mind. They will crisp up as they cool though.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
- 3 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon (14.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. salt (reduce to 3/4 tsp. if you used salted butter)
- 1/4 ground cloves
- Heat the oven to 325° F. with rack in centre of oven and prepare a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in the molasses.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt and ground cloves. With the mixer running, slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixture until completely incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into mounds (about 2 Tablespoons each) and place on prepared cookie sheet. Space the cookies at least 3 to 4 inches apart, as they will spread! I bake only 6 at a time on a half sheet pan.
- Baking time will vary depending on your oven, weight of your baking sheet and how you like your cookies (more crispy or more chewy). Check cookies regularly starting at 12 minutes and watch carefully. Cookies will puff up as they bake and then deflate in to a flat cookie. You want to leave them in the oven at least until they deflate. How much longer you bake after that will determine how crispy they'll be. Somewhere between 14-17 minutes is in the right range. If you like, you can rotate the pan front to back halfway through for even colouring.
- Allow cookies to sit on the baking sheet until they firm up enough to move to a cooling rack (about a minute or two). Cookies will firm up as they cool.
Adapted from Christina Tosi/Milk