Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

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Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

They don’t call me “Grams” for nothing. I happen to like old lady stuff. Black licorice, hot toddies, throw blankets…and molasses ginger cookies. What can I say, I was born in the wrong era?

These chewy cookies are an old time favorite but all the youngsters seem to like them too. Every time I make them they go with the quickness. I used blackstrap molasses, which is a brilliant sweetener because it’s extremely rich in iron and other minerals, as well as vitamin B.

Fresh ginger is also key for these cookies cause it gives them a nice spiciness. I used my handy zester to get the perfect consistency of ginger pulp. If you don’t have a zester, you can just cut off about in inch off of your ginger root, peel it and finely, finely dice it up. But, you should really consider getting one of these zester thingies.
They’re awesome for all kinds of stuff—cheese, chocolate, fresh nutmeg and cinnamon, lemon rind, etc.

The dough is pretty easy to make. However, the stickiness of it requires you to do one slightly technical thing before you can pop them in the oven. You’ll have to shape your dough. Spoon it onto a sheet or plastic wrap, then roll it up into a long rectangular mold. Twist off the ends nice and tight like a Tootsie Roll and pop the mold into the freezer for about one hour or for 3 hours in the refrigerator. This will set the mold and allow you to easily slice off your cookie dough.


Once the mold is nice and firm, you can take it out of the freezer and unwrap it. Surprise! It looks like the world’s biggest turd. Now start slicing off your cookie pieces. You need to do half the dough at a time or it’ll just get all mushy and sticky again. Cut up half the dough mold into 1 inch cubes; roll them into balls and press the top of each ball onto a plate of raw sugar. Once they’re all sugared up and ready to go into the oven, press a hazelnut or pecan into each cookie’s center. It’s an optional but delightful touch. They only need to bake for about 6 -7 minutes – any longer than that and they’ll spread too much and flatten out. Make sue there’s a good amount of space between each as well. they will be pretty soft when you take them out of the oven, but don’t worry they’ll firm up a lot as they set.

Each 1/2 batch yields about 20-25 or so cookies. Do the other half of the dough right away or keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months or the fridge for up to a week.

Sun kissed and so good…

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Coop time 6-7 minutes. Prep time 1 hour (dough needs to cool in freezer) Recipe makes about 40 cookies.

You need:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove (powder)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground ginger
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • About ½ coarse raw sugar for rolling tops
  • About 25 hazelnuts or pecans


  1. Sift together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light in color. Add egg and molasses and beat until totally incorporated (scrape the bowl a couple times). Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  3. Wrap dough with plastic wrap. Shape/roll into 2 even, logs. Chill for at least 3 hours in the fridge or 1 hour in the freezer.
  4. After the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and remove a portion of the dough from the fridge. Cut into 20 or so equal sized cubes and roll each cube into a ball. Place decorating sugar on a plate and pat tops onto sugar. Press nut of choice gently into center of cookie.
  5. Place cookies on nonstick pan or LIGHTLY greased baking sheets with plenty of space between each cookie. Bake for 6-7 minutes tops. Cookies should be VERY soft with lightly browned bottoms because they will firm up a lot during cooling.
  6. Repeat with the remaining dough. Or freeze remaining dough for up to 2 months.



  1. Sara
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    OMG! These look utterly delightful. I will have to try. I laughed so loud after “Surprise”! Lovely site…will send link to all my friends who I know will appreciate : )

  2. Em in Scotland
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Just baked a batch this morning- these are delicious! I used black treacle which is our equivalent of molasses and the flavour is amazing. Thanks for sharing this one!

  3. Posted June 4, 2010 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

    hi that is some big turd……….

  4. Posted December 30, 2011 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    I mixed up the dough this morning and cannot wait to try the cookies. My dough was not as dark as yours but it tastes amazing so far.

  5. Posted December 31, 2011 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    When I baked these cookies, they did not look like the picture. I think I may have mis-measured my flour because they completely flattened out–kind of looked like lace cookies but dark. Best.Cookies.Ever. Very chewy, gingery and molassesy. Now, if I can just figure out how I messed up the recipe so I can make them again. :-)

  6. Elysse
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    I had the same problem as Kathy above. My cookies spread like crazy. They were delicious, but very very flat. I mixed some chopped rhubarb into half of the dough, which was delicious. It added a nice tartness to balance out the sweetness. I made the other half of the dough as you did, with one hazelnut placed in the middle. Also delicious, but one hazelnut looked a little silly in the middle of a large flat cookie!

  7. gabi
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    Hi ladies,
    At least the giant flat cookie tasted great, right?! But let’s figure this out because these are my favorite cookies and I’ve made them a dozen or more times. I’m thinking that your cookie balls were too large and spaced too close together. It also sounds like they were cooked too long. You really only need to bake for 6 minutes. When they start to puff up and open up they’re basically done. You don’t want to bake too long or the molasses will get too hot and make the dough spread out like you’re describing. I’d definitely give it another shot! More space between and less time in the oven :)

  8. Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

    Mmmm to licorice, ginger snap and all that old lady stuff. Though I tend to be more like an old man, considering my affinity for mackerel, rye toast, stinky goat’s gouda & canned sardines. I love how you eat & I love this site.

    I’m one of those random girls that were gawking at the La Empanadas truck in Winter Park last thursday. Funny thing is I’m pretty sure I’ve gawked at your site before. Glad you’re close by so I get to try your amazing creations :)

  9. gabi
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    Hey Kristen!
    That’s hilarious. Love the old man stuff too :)
    Thanks for coming by the truck the other day and now the site!

  10. Zorana
    Posted November 21, 2013 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Hi Gabi,

    I’m here trying to overcome the flat but delicious ginger cookie I’m getting. I did them small, spaced and cooked for 6 minutes. They were liquid inside when I removed them. It’s definitely the right proportions in the recipe?

    I’m determined to get it right, because they are truly, FANTASTIC cookies.

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