Recipe Request: Dark, Rich, Moist, Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

Cookie-Monster

I'm getting pretty frustrated looking for a recipe for this cookie... I don't even know what they're correctly called. Is it a Molasses Cookie? A Ginger Cookie? A Molasses-Ginger Cookie? A Ginger-Molasses Cookie?

All I know is the cookie I want to make is some 3-4" in diameter and about about 1/4" thick. It should have a craggily top coated with white granulated sugar (no, not frosting or that nasty coarse sugar). If I were to hold the cookie merely by pinching the edge of it, the cookie would easily sag because it would be moist and chewy. But it wouldn't fall apart.

Color should be VERY dark brown, about the hue of a dark brown beer bottle.

The flavor should be VERY "molassesey" but have some spice to it, it should taste like a rich gingerbread. But with the texture of a delicious soft cookie.

I have prepared dozens of different cookie recipes claiming to be ginger and/or molasses cookies, and the cookies are always too something. Too crunchy. Too flat. Too bland. Too light (not enough molasses). I'm just getting tired of experimenting with different recipes and want someone--someone who loves these cookies and knows what I'm talking about--to share with me one they know fits all the "dark, rich, moist, chewy" criteria!

I've had these delicious cookies from several sources here in the Twin Cities, so I know there's some formula out there somewhere!

badge posted by: Cookie-Monster on September 29, 2011 at 1:33 am in Baking, desserts and sweets
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reply by: Mike Nolan on September 29, 2011 at 2:19 am
Mike Nolan

I'm not sure if these are what you're after, but these are by far the best molasses/spice (ginger, clove & cinnamon) cookies I've ever made:

http://community.kingarthurflour.com/content/bljs-best-ever-molasses-coo...

reply by: swirth on September 29, 2011 at 9:32 am
swirth

I took the huge original recipe first posted on the oldBC and cut it down to a more manage-able size with cups and spoons measurements.

An oldBCer emailed that to me early today and it may be handy for those who do not weigh ingredients:

BEST EVER MOLASSAS COOKIES
As reply to message 1

Here is what I think is correct:

1 cup oil
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup eggs
3 1/2 cups ww flour
1 Tbsp. soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Make into large balls (the cookies are about four inches across), roll in sugar and flatten. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. These are addictive.

swirth

reply by: toffee on September 29, 2011 at 10:25 am
toffee

At my house they are called molasses crinkles. They are really good and swirth's recipe is pretty close to mine. I believe mine came out of a Betty Crocker cookie book first published in the 1960's. I rarely meet anyone who doesn't love them, but many shy at the word molasses. For them I just say ginger snap, though technically it isn't that. Lol. They are even better the second day. Now I guess I will have to bake some.

Patty

reply by: swirth on September 29, 2011 at 10:59 am
swirth

Here's what DL said in the oldBC thread on these cookies:

I have made cookies like these for years and we call them molasses crinkles. Although I adore chocolate, these are my favorite cookies that I bake. However, when I was a wee lass, there was an old lady, Mrs Selfridge, who lived next door. Although it was the 50's, she still heated and baked with a huge old enamel woodstove. (She also hobbled out to her woodshed every day to split and carry in firewood!) She made the best molasses cookies; they were cakelike with a dense, fine crumb and were very gingery. The closest thing I have found is in the old Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook. They are called "Gingies" and are almost as good as Mrs. Selfridge's warm, foil wrapped goodies. Anyone make something like that???

reply by: karen_noll on September 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm
karen_noll

Mike, swirth,

These look great! I got hooked on gingerbread last Christmas season, and having cookies that taste like that sounds great. Have either of you ever tried them with AP flour? Or maybe adding raisins and crystallized ginger like you do with gingerbread?

Karen

reply by: Mike Nolan on September 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm
Mike Nolan

I make them with freshly ground hard red winter wheat, usually a somewhat coarse grind. Using AP flour will make them lighter in both color and texture.

I've put raisins in them a few times, but not candied ginger. I usually cut back on the clove (as noted in my version of the recipe) and often put in more cinnamon.

You can bake these all the way to ginger snap crispness, we prefer them a bit on the softer side.

The only times we've made true gingerbread was to make gingerbread houses, and that's not really intended to be eaten.

reply by: swirth on September 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm
swirth

Karen_Noll...I think DL used the mini diced ginger from the Baker's Catalogue in this recipe from reading thru that very long past thread. Lots of BCers used many different kinds of flours when trying this recipe.

reply by: --jej on September 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm
--jej

After seeing this last night, I read through the thread from the old BC, and someone used AP flour, missing totally missing that there was ww flour called for in BLJ's recipe. The cookies were fine. Others wrote they couldn't taste the ww flour, but one felt it was noticeable. LOL Also, Randy provided a weight for the 'scooping the flour' measurement for us 'non-scoopers. '

Randy had written from his experience with this recipe:

"Here is Big Lake Judy's recipe reduced down to a one egg size recipe and using weights. The amount of flour I used was based on Judy's post about scooping the flour.

"To make the 4" cookies make the dough balls into a ball about halfway between a ping-pong ball and a golf ball."

Randy

BLJ's BEST EVER MOLASSES COOKIES reduced version -- 1/2 the orig. recipe…

3.8 oz(weight) oil
3 oz(weight) molasses or pure cane syrup
7 oz sugar
1 extra large egg
9.5 oz KA Whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons soda
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Salt

reply by: Baker Sharon on September 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm
 Baker Sharon

Check on Martha Stewart Website .... Martha Bakes that aired on Monday .... she baked a cookie with chocolate and ginger ... check it out to see if this is what you are looking for.... good luck!

reply by: hickeyja on September 29, 2011 at 11:57 pm
reply by: karen_noll on September 30, 2011 at 6:39 am
karen_noll

Thanks, Jan. These look great, too. I may have to do a test batch (or two) before the holidays.....yum!

Karen

reply by: mrs.chiu on September 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm
mrs.chiu

I know the exact texture you are looking for. I was hunting for that texture too several years ago after having Cheryl's (of Ohio) molasses cookies around the holidays.

In the KA Cookie Companion cookbook on pg. 86 is their recipe for "Soft Molasses Cookies" Use this recipe except sub. dark brown sugar for the granulated and add in 1/2 C. more flour for a thicker cookie.

The spice combo is perfect and it's just a great soft molasses cookie that is chewy.

Mrs.Chiu

reply by: pammyowl on October 02, 2011 at 12:25 am
pammyowl

I agree,the betty crocker recipe from the 1950 edition has a great recipe for molasses crinkles. Yum! However, it seems that cookie monster wants a softer one. here is a link

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/molasses-cookies/detail.aspx

reply by: pammyowl on October 02, 2011 at 12:37 am
pammyowl

What a charming story, swith! When I lived in the mountains of Oregon, I used to go out to cut wood for the stove every day, as that was our only source of heat. When I married my husband I had no idea how to fire up the woodstove, but believe me, I learned quickly!

reply by: swirth on October 02, 2011 at 9:08 am
swirth

We heat our huge house with firewood...last winter i bought 14 pickup loads from my firewood boy. Since I handle each piece of wood a mimimum of 4x, that's handling 56 pickup loads worth and actually, I handle most of it 6-8 times per piece!!

I have to wear my back brace to do it but there is nothing as warming as a wood fire and the deep breathing in the fresh air as I load, push, sort, unload, pack, load the stove and pack out the ashes is so refreshing...great cardiac workout. I think I'd burn wood if I was rich...I'm just such a farm girl and the warmth is just so wonderful!

reply by: ryanaron on October 09, 2011 at 10:25 pm
ryanaron

you do know your stuff here don't you. i'd like to take note on this and do it my self. i'd love to make one and taste it.

recipe search

reply by: Cookie-Monster on December 29, 2011 at 6:15 am
Cookie-Monster

I finally made these! They are very good, and the recipe is ridiculously simple (I love using weights to measure). I divided the dough into a dozen large balls, and flattened each ball so it formed 2.5" diameter patty, about 5/8" thick. Then I sprinkled sugar on them. Baked at 375 for 14 minutes, rotating pans both top to bottom and 180 degrees.

As for taste, it's definitely the flavor profile I'm looking for, but still not quite rich enough. The texture also came out slightly dry, and the cookies were a lighter shade of brown than I was looking for. I certainly appreciated the craggily top of the cookies, that was beautiful. The high amount of baking soda (1.5 tsps) in this recipe does that, but at a price: it gives the cookies a very subtle but distinct soapy flavor.

What I'm still looking for is a recipe for DARK brown, moist and chewy cookie with serious spice and molasses flavor. The cookies should be dark enough to be mistaken as chocolate cookies by appearance.

This recipe is definitely good reference, though... I think it could be tweaked to make what I want. I think any combination of more molassess, dark brown for a portion of the sugar, AP flour for some or all of the whole wheat flour, an additional egg yolk, etc.

reply by: tigger on January 05, 2012 at 12:06 pm
tigger

Our favorite is this Ginger Crinkle recipe -- This cookie is very gingery. I don't make them as large as you mention, but that means you just have to eat more of them!!

Ginger Crinkles
3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional but very good)

Preheat oven to 375

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg and molasses. Add the flour and mix slowly until combined.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. For topping, put sugar and crystallized ginger in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Roll balls in sugar mixture to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are set and tops are crackled. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
Makes 48 cookies.

Notes: If you are not using crystallized ginger in the sugar topping mixture, then use 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger in the dough.

reply by: John VN on January 05, 2012 at 4:56 pm
John VN

This is a receipe I made for the holidays.
Ginger Snaps
9 ½ ounces all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground clove
½ teaspoon kosher salt
7 ounces dark brown sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces molasses, by weight
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
4 ounces finely chopped candied ginger
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling, optional
Method
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour,
baking soda, ginger, cardamom, clove and salt.
Place the brown sugar and butter into the bowl of a
stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and
beat on low speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add
the molasses, egg and fresh ginger and beat on medium for
1 minute. Add the crystallized ginger and using a rubber
spatula, stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet
and stir until well combined.
With a 2-teaspoon-sized scoop, drop the dough onto a
parchment-lined half sheet pan approximately 2
inches apart. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12
minutes for slightly chewy cookies or 15 minutes for more
crisp cookies. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with sanding sugar, if
desired, and allow the cookies to stay on the sheet
pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool
completely. Repeat with all of the dough. Store in an airtight
container for up to 10 days. If desired, you may scoop and
freeze the cookie dough on a sheet pan and once frozen,
place in a resealable bag to store. Bake directly from the
freezer as above.

reply by: Cookie-Monster on February 23, 2012 at 10:29 am
Cookie-Monster

Hi everyone. I found this recipe on the 'net, and these are pretty much what I had been looking for all this time. Enjoy!

DARK RICH MOIST CHEWY MOLASSES GINGER COOKIES

Cream:
150g shortening
200g dark brown sugar

Add to creamed:
1 large pre-beaten egg
170g molasses

Whisk together in separate bowl:
320g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture slowly, and mix until fully integrated. Chill dough for at least 2 hours, preferably longer.

Position oven racks to middle positions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Portion dough to two sheet pans, parchment-lined, with a #1 disher. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in cold water, squash the dough balls so 1/4" thick patties are formed. Dip glass in water before each squashing. The wetness on the dough should form crinkles in the final stages of baking.

Bake 18-20 minutes rotating pans midway (rotate top pan to bottom rack, bottom pan to top rack, and also rotate each pan 180 degrees front-to-rear) to ensure even baking.

Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with white granulated sugar. Let cool on sheet pans thoroughly before serving.

--
My notes: These are spicy cookies. One teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice might be a little intense for some people. In my next batch, I'm going to probably back down on the nutmeg and allspice (1/4 tsp each), and will also back the salt down to 1/4 tsp.

reply by: dachshundlady on February 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm
dachshundlady

Did original recipe have any measurements in oz or cups? As it is, I can't do much with this. I love this type cookie.

reply by: Midnite Baker on February 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm
Midnite Baker

DL, I set up this converter for grams to ounces for you. All you have to do is type in the amount of grams in the box. Hope this helps. Mary
http://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/grams-to-ounces.htm

reply by: Mike Nolan on February 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm
Mike Nolan

Where did you find this recipe? (I try to always cite the source, both out of courtesy and in case I make an error.)

reply by: dachshundlady on February 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm
dachshundlady

Thanks MB.

reply by: puppyfuzz on February 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm
puppyfuzz

in this recipe, have you tried the butter flavored shortening or just plain?

what about the butter flavored shortening in general for baking (cookies, etc).

i thought it would be good for frying donuts instead of plain shortening, but somewhere i heard that it makes the donuts taste.....not good.

reply by: --jej on February 25, 2012 at 10:50 am
--jej

puppyfuzz, My two cents: I have used the butter-flavored Crisco for years, and really feel it adds to the things I use it for -- which are probably mainly cookies these days. I don't use it for frying anything (preferring spraying the pan with Canola oil) -- and I haven't recently done deep frying.

As for donuts, I only make 'Baked Donuts' -- following a Kansas Wheat Commission recipe first put onto the old BC by Bookbag (a wonderfully knowledgeable and experienced gal who no longer posts). These little 'donut balls' are baked in muffin tins, and are so delicious that my DH usually claims them ALL for himself! After baking, they are dipped in butter and rolled in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. If you'd like to see the recipe, it is posted under my recipes. As I recall, one recipe makes a dozen of them. DH has difficulty saving any of them for the next day, so I can't really tell you how well they keep. LOL

reply by: Cookie-Monster on February 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm
Cookie-Monster

You're totally right, I didn't think to do that. Sorry about that! Fortunately I was able to retrieve it in my browser's history:

http://www.lifeinreviews.com/2010/01/molasses-cookies.html

reply by: Cookie-Monster on February 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm
Cookie-Monster

Sorry if my listing of weights inconveniences or confuses anyone, I figured everyone posting on here uses scales to measure the dry goods. If you don't, you should! I've seen digital scales for $10 at discount stores.

When you weigh, you aren't dirtying up measuring cups. You just just gently pour each ingredient into a bowl on the scale til it's the weight you want. I use grams rather than ounces because it's more precise, though I round up or down to the nearest 10 gram multiple.

Spoon measures are too insignificant to deal with weights, though.

reply by: Cookie-Monster on February 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm
Cookie-Monster

I seriously wouldn't recommend using butter or butter-flavored shortening in this recipe, because you really don't want to undermine the flavor of the spices or molasses.

reply by: Cookie-Monster on February 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm
Cookie-Monster

There's a few errors in this recipe I posted. First, the disher, there's no such thing as a #1 disher (that would be huge). You want to use a disher that makes golf-ball size balls.

Secondly, the bake time I listed is way overstated. Bake time should be 11-14 minutes or so.

Sorry for the errors. These are great cookies! I definitely encourage you to adjust spices according to your taste, though. The one teaspoon of everything is a little extreme. Also consider cloves, black pepper, and/or cayenne!

reply by: Mike Nolan on February 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm
Mike Nolan

For those of who remember "The Beverly Hillbillies", would a #1 disher be the equivalent of Granny's drinking thimble, for those people who want to limit themselves to just one cookie? :-)

reply by: dachshundlady on February 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm
dachshundlady

I know all the advantages of using a scales but they don't "outweigh" my pet peeve which is one more piece of equipment to have sitting on the counter or have to take out of a cupboard. For me, less is more. And I would love to make these but know I will never sit down and figure the conversions:-))

reply by: Cookie-Monster on March 04, 2012 at 11:07 am
Cookie-Monster

That's unfortunate, because you will never apportion the same amount of flour twice using volumetric measures. Flour settles in its container, and, even worse, every time you dip a measuring cup into flour, you're compressing the remaining flour so your next "measure" will have more flour than your last. And apportioning gooey and messy peanut butter, shortening, or molasses using a measuring cup? No thank you! It's so much easier to just pour molasses from a bottle or spatula peanut butter or shortening from its container into a bowl on the scale until it weighs what it should.

Scales used to be expensive, analog, and BIG which made them undesirable... modern scales are cheap, digital, and small. You can stash it in a drawer. Anyone who bakes regularly should have one. I honestly can't imagine NOT having one now, it's like not having a microwave oven.

Plus I use it to weigh mail so I can calculate exact postage. You already own a ruler and tape measure to measure length, so it only makes sense to own a scale to measure weight! LOL

I do know what you mean about choosing your kitchen tools carefully due to limited space. A scale is a critical tool for the kitchen--especially the baker's kitchen--in my opinion.

(No, I don't work for a trade association of scales. LOL)

reply by: dachshundlady on March 04, 2012 at 7:12 pm
dachshundlady

Oh, I know, I've heard it all before. When I measure flour I stir it in the container every time before I take a big spoonful and sprinkle it in my measuring cup. Then stir, spoon and sprinkle. I've never had a problem. And with bread it is a no brainer as I knead and add flour to the right feel. My breads turn out just great. One thing I would use those scales for would be weighing newborn puppies and tracking their weights the first week! And, BTW, my dogs volunteer to lick out any cups with molasses or PB in them. *LOL*

reply by: Cookie-Monster on March 05, 2012 at 5:24 pm
Cookie-Monster

Well if you're making delicious baked goods, the ends justify the means!

reply by: dachshundlady on March 05, 2012 at 7:54 pm
dachshundlady

The best cookies I ever had were made by a little old lady who was our next door neighbor when I was a child. She chopped her own wood and baked them in her wood cookstove. They were a cakey ginger cookie and I have never been able to re-create them. She probably measured with a coffee cup and regular teaspoons!!

reply by: pamelalurie on March 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm
pamelalurie

I have the red-and-white-plaid Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from the early 60's; there is a Ginger Snap recipe in there that has been a huge winner every single time I made cookies from it. I can post the recipe later if it's needed, am at the office right now.

reply by: dachshundlady on March 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm
dachshundlady

Pam, are they crisp, bendy or cakey?