This chewy ginger molasses cookies recipe is easy to make and creates soft cookies with a hint of five-spice and vanilla flavor. They are fantastic on their own, and absolutely to die for when paired up with ice cream and made into an ice cream sandwich!
Flat and chewy. Those are my only two requirements for a good cookie. If it has crispy edges it's a bonus (a really big bonus) but for this cookie recipe, we won't be trying to get the crispy edges because to me, ginger molasses cookies are meant to be soft and chewy and crazy comforting and they are definitely not limited to just Christmas time 😉
INGREDIENTS FOR GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES
- Molasses - Use fancy molasses and not blackstrap molasses for this recipe. Fancy molasses is higher in sugar so it tastes sweeter - blackstrap molasses has a bitter undertone to it. Fancy molasses is also a lot runnier and easier to work with, whereas blackstrap molasses is very thick and harder to mix into the flour.
- Five-Spice - For this recipe, I like to use Chinese five-spice, but you can use any kind that you can find. Make sure not to buy allspice, it is a very different flavor and spice.
THE GINGER MOLASSES COOKIE DOUGH
Whenever I make these ginger molasses cookies, I like to cream the butter to death. I find that adding the extra air really helps the cookie rise, which then drops the cookie to a thinner cookie once it deflates. When you are creaming the butter with the sugar, aim to make it a light creamy fluffy yellow butter. I find it easiest to achieve this with a stand mixer or hand mixer - it's doable by hand as well but I hope you have some crazy arm muscles because I know I don't! 🙂
Make sure the butter has been softened (not fully melted) either by letting it sit for hours at room temperature or you can be lazy like me and nuke it in the microwave for 45 seconds (timing to this will depend on how powerful your microwave is). Make sure you nuke it 20 seconds at a time, a full 45-second nuke might make your butter splatter like crazy and I assume nobody enjoys cleaning butter-drenched microwaves
When you are mixing the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl with the flour, make sure your baking soda is not clumpy. If it is, use your fingers to break apart the clumps so that it can evenly distribute into the flour better.
When you start to mix in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, add the dry mix in a few batches on a lower speed so the flour doesn't fly up into the air and get everywhere!
ROLLING OUT THE COOKIE DOUGH
This five-spice ginger molasses cookie recipe makes a lot of cookies and when I say a lot I mean approximately 28-30 GIANT ginger molasses cookies, so if you make smaller cookies you will probably get double the amount but from my findings, the smaller the cookie you make the less flat they will be. I found that cookies made smaller tend to cook faster (and tend to gets overcooked faster). I like to use approximately 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of dough to make my cookie balls (they don't need to be flattened on the cookie sheet). They come out a little bit bigger than a golf ball size.
This ginger molasses cookie dough is very soft, and it's meant to be! Personally, I don't recommend putting them in the fridge to cool before rolling them into balls because cold cookie dough means the oven needs to take longer to cook it. If you find it hard to work with the dough because you have warm hands as I do and the dough gets super melty and mucky, then try to run your wrists under cold water to cool your hands down a bit. This works for me every time.
When you are rolling them, try to be quick and gentle and then toss the cookie balls into a bowl of sugar and swirl the bowl to coat the balls without touching them too much.
TROUBLESHOOTING THE COOKIE
Baking is finicky. There are so many factors to it - it literally is science and a lot of different things may impact how your cookies turn out. I like to use my first cookie tray to gauge how the rest of my cookies turn out so you may need to do the same if they don't turn out the way they should.
- If your first tray of ginger molasses cookies are SUPER flat - try to add 3-5 more tablespoons of flour into the dough and chill the dough before rolling it into the sugar. In this case, even making the cookie balls smaller might help because it will look the dough faster and won't allow the cookie to 'melt'.
- If your first tray of ginger molasses cookies is super puffy and cake-like - try adding more butter. Add approximately ¼ cup of melted butter and remix your dough again. Another thing I found was that skimping on sugar will produce a puffier cookie as well. I like to cut sugars in all my baked goods from time to time as well but in some cases, you can't if you want to achieve a certain consistency. Another thing to keep in mind as well is the measurement of your ingredients. Make sure you are not using a heaping cup of flour, use a knife to scrape off excess flour from the measuring cup.
HEAT AND OVERCOOKING THE COOKIES
It is SUPER IMPORTANT not to overcook these cookies. When you take these little guys out of the oven, they will feel SUPER soft and some might even look slightly puffy in the middle. It's okay! Just make sure you leave them on the cookie sheet to cool. No touchy, no moving it to a cookie rack - just let it be for approximately 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, it's still cooking with the residual heat from it. In that 10 minutes, your cookie will start to harden a bit and the middles should deflate and come down flatter in size. For the sake of speed, I like to have 2 cookie sheets on the go, so that when one tray is in the oven the other tray can sit outside and cool.
LOOKING FOR MORE SWEETS RECIPES? TRY THESE!
- Black Sesame Chocolate Ruffled Milk Pie
- Roasted Banana Banana Bread
- Black Sesame Cheesecake
- Mini Butter Mochi Muffins
- Candy Cane Chocolate Crepe Cake
- Black Sesame Creme Brulee
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Chewy Five Spice Ginger Molasses Cookies
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- The dough for this cookie is very soft but it is intentionally to create a soft and chewy cookie. Try to work fast when rolling them into balls use the bowl of sugar to coat the cookie dough balls by swirling it around so you don't need to touch it too much. If your hands are too warm to handle the dough (gets very soft and melty on you) cool your hands by running some cold water on your wrists.
- When you are are measuring out your flour, make sure you use a knife and scrape off the excess flour. You don't want 1 'heaping' cup of flour, just 1 cup of flour. 🙂
- Leave the butter in room temperature for a few hours until it is soft.
Making the Cookie Dough
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it is a pale yellow colour and fluffy. It is important the butter is soft before starting this step.
- Add in the eggs one at a time and continue to mix
- Add in the molasses and vanilla extract and continue to mix until everything is well incorporated and fluffy. Make sure you are also scraping down the sides of the bowl so that everything is evenly mixed.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. If your baking soda is clumpy, make sure to break apart the clumps with your fingers before adding it to the dry mixture.
- Slowly add in the dry mixture in a few batches into the wet mixture and mix on low speed (so the flour doesn't fly everywhere). Remember to occasionally scrape down the bowl so you mix the dough evenly.
- In a bowl, add in ¼ cup of sugar. We are going to use this to roll the cookie dough balls in, after they have been formed. Don't worry if it doesn't seem like enough sugar, you can add more later if you run out.
- Scoop out 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a ball (It should be slightly larger than a golf ball). If your hands are super warm and are finding the dough tough to work with since it is very soft, try cool your hands down by running cold water on your wrist.
- Roll the cookie ball in the sugar and add them to the cookie sheet with 2 inches of space between them. No need to press down the dough, keep them as balls. You will need to bake these in a few batches.
Baking the Cookies
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (176C) and set your oven rack to the middle of the oven.
- Line your cookie trays with parchment paper and set aside.
- Bake the cookies, 1 tray at a time for 9-11 minutes. Since every oven is different, start with baking it for 9 minutes and watch it. It should start to get puffy at around 8 minutes or so. It is very important not to overcook the cookies, else they will not flatten during the cooling stage. I remove the cookies at 11 minutes but my gas oven runs a bit cooler than an electric oven.
- *IMPORTANT* Do not remove the cookies from the cookie sheets for at least 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet and don't move it. It is still cooking from the residual heat. During this time the cookie will slowly deflate and flatten itself down. I like to have 2 cookie sheets on the go so that I can have one batch in the oven while the other batch is cooling on the cookie sheet.
- Once the cookie has cooled for 10-15 minutes, transfer them to a cooking rack.
- Enjoy them as is or sandwich them with some vanilla ice cream! 🙂
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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