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 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 as my source Theresa Carle-Sanders' Outlander Kitchen's website, a wonderful ode to the food of Outlander. 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 molasses 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!
An easy cookie recipe
This recipe for Molasses Cookies is a snap to make. Start by whisking the dry ingredients together.
After you beat the wet ingredients together, mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
You'll want to chill the dough for 15 minutes to firm up the melted butter.
I use a small cookie scoop to shape the dough into one-tablespoon-sized balls, then roll them in the powdered sugar.
Old fashioned flavor for modern tastes
Molasses cookies make me think of the 18th century when molasses was readily available in the Colonies and frequently used to sweeten baked goods.
However this recipe is thoroughly modern, producing a soft Molasses Cookie with a chewy texture and redolent with the flavor of baking spices.
And I wish you could smell how good these finished Molasses Cookies are!
Soft and spicy, one bite and you'll see that this old fashioned cookie needs to be in your regular baking rotation!
Even if you haven't any rum.
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼-½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- ¼ tsp cardamom,
- ¼ tsp ground cloves,
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup molasses, not blackstrap
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, unpacked
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 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 pans, flattening each ball slightly with your fingertips.
- Bake until the cookies are puffed and cracked, 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies will be soft.
- Let cool on pan 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.