Homemade Molasses Cookies are darkly sweet, spicy, soft, & utterly delicious. You need to put these old-fashioned cookies into your regular baking rotation!
Molasses and rum
They go together like peanut butter & jelly. No, more like peanuts and peanut oil. Actually, they’re like cows and methane. (I’m going to stop now…you get the idea).
One produces the other. And both are made from sugarcane juice, which is itself a byproduct from refining sugar.
Molasses comes from repeated boiling of the juice until it’s a dark, viscous liquid (“You’re slower than molasses in January!” is an epithet I’ve heard uttered). Rum can be made from either distilling molasses or the sugarcane juice directly.
And molasses is the key ingredient to one of my favorite treats...old-fashioned homemade Molasses Cookies!
The importance of Rum
Rum plays an important role in American history. Did you know that there was a disaster called the Great Molasses Flood in 1919? I didn’t until I moved to Boston (I’m not making this up…you can google it for the details).
Rum was also part of the Triangle Trade between New England, Africa, and the Caribbean in the 18th Century (a shameful part of history, to be sure). Molasses was a very important commodity for quite a while.
An old-time cookie for modern times
So enough about history…let’s talk about the Molasses Cookie recipe.
I used the Outlander Kitchen's website, Theresa Carle-Sanders wonderful ode to the food of Outlander, as my source. She has so many incredible recipes that, while inspired by 18th Century Scotland and America, are thoroughly modern in their ingredients and preparation.
These old-fashioned cookies are quite distinctive. It's the cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, and cloves that provide a counterpoint to the deeply sweet molasses and give them a kick. Molasses cookies are soft and chewy, and practically melt on your tongue.
They’re also super easy to make!
Preparation is as easy as mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately, then combining them. No surprises there.
I wish you could smell how good these finished Molasses Cookies are!
Pair them with a glass of a good Highland scotch...oh, now you're talking! Soft and spicy, one bite and you'll see that this old-fashioned cooking needs to be in your regular baking rotation...you'll want to keep them at hand.
Even if you haven't any rum.
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Homemade Molasses Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, (8½ oz, 240g)
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼-½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- ¼ tsp cardamom, ground
- ¼ tsp ground cloves, ground
- ½ cup butter, melted (4 oz, 113g)
- ⅓ cup molasses, light or fancy (4 oz, 113g)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar, (20¼ oz, 67g)
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, unpacked (2½ oz, 71g)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted (2 oz, 56g)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, pepper, cardamom, and cloves until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the melted butter, molasses, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and egg until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic and refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
- Using a small cookie scoop, portion out rounds of dough and roll in the powdered sugar. Knock off the excess sugar and arrange on the baking sheets, flattening each ball slightly with your fingertips.
- Bake until the cookies are puffed and cracked, 8 to 10 minutes. Store in an air-tight tin for up to 5 days.