A fast, easy recipe for chewy ginger molasses cookies. 30 minutes, start to finish, no dough chilling required!
Are you a planner when it comes to holiday baking, or not so much? I’m a total procrastinator on Christmas cookies and baking in general. Case in point: Christmas is less than two weeks away (eek!) and I’m still browsing for new cookie inspiration and thinking about which I’d like to try this year.
Of course, these new ones are really just extras around the margins, because we have a fairly large contingent of must-have holiday cookies–who doesn’t!? And these chewy ginger molasses cookies are right at the top of the list.
Ever since I snagged this recipe from my friend Christina years ago, in fact, they’ve had the honor of being my hubby’s second-favorite cookie. (After these ultra-soft chocolate chip cookies, of course.) And that carries weight, considering the man harbors great skepticism of any dessert that doesn’t have chocolate!
Reasons to love these chewy ginger molasses cookies
- Perfectly soft texture
- Rich molasses flavor
- A little sugar sparkle on the outside
- SO EASY to make – no need to chill the dough!
Personally my favorite thing about these cookies is the soft, chewy texture. I love the flavor of gingersnaps and ginger cookies in general, but crunchy cookies usually aren’t my thing. (The sole exception!) These bake up perfectly chewy, every time, and are one of my favorite treats to pair with a mug of tea.
Butter vs. shortening
Should you use butter or shortening in cookies? Well, it depends! In 99% of our tried-and-true cookie recipes, I prefer butter, but I do keep shortening on hand, and this recipe is one of the reasons why.
The original recipe calls for all shortening, and I think this is a big part of why they bake up and stay so reliably chewy, yet still with a nice, even shape.
When I’ve subbed all butter, the cookies are still delicious (obviously! it’s butter!), but I find the dough a bit more difficult to work with and roll out, and more variation in how much they spread. So, I recommend shortening here, or a mix – a half and half mix can give you the best of both worlds!
More favorite Christmas cookies
If you try these chewy ginger molasses cookies or any other recipe on the blog, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup granulated sugar - plus more for rolling
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat shortening and 1 cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the egg and molasses, and beat again until well-combined. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- Scoop the dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter, and roll each gently between your palms to smooth it out. Place a small amount of sugar in a small, shallow dish. Roll each ball in the sugar before placing on the baking sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, then allow to cool on the sheets for about 10 minutes before removing to wire racks.
- You can sub room temperature butter for all or part of the shortening, but I like to use at least 1/4 cup of shortening because it helps the cookies hold their shape.
- If you want flatter, thinner cookies, just press the dough balls down slightly with a drinking glass before baking.
- Cookies will keep well at room temperature for about 4 days. The dough balls can be frozen, as well. Bake them straight from frozen just as directed, adding just 1-2 minutes to the bake time.
- Recipe gifted many years ago from a family friend.