These chewy ginger molasses cookies have a complex flavor, and a little bit of a spicy ginger kick, because of the fresh ginger in them!
Back when this blog was VERY young, I shared a recipe for ginger molasses spice cookies, which my sister made for her wedding. It’s a solid recipe but it’s also something I’ve been wanting to revisit and rework for a while. The classic ginger molasses flavor combination is one of my favorites, and I felt like I could make the cookie a little more complex in flavor. I adore the flavor combination of ginger molasses as evident by my gingerbread stout cake, gingerbread Christmas tree cookies, hermit cookies, triple layer holiday spice cake, Dutch Speculaas cookies, which have a similar profile to gingersnaps, and gingerbread toaster pastries with pear bourbon filling. I even have a gluten free gingersnap cookie recipe that is pretty close these cookies. So, it was high time I went back and visited those chewy ginger molasses cookies, reworking the recipe from the ground up.
What makes these ginger molasses cookie different than other recipes?
Most ginger molasses cookies use just ground ginger in them with an added dose of cinnamon to give it a little more dimension. These ginger molasses cookies use a combination of ground ginger, fresh grated ginger, and crystallized ginger to give them a spicier and punchier ginger profile.
Beyond the triple ginger addition and the requisite cinnamon, I’ve also added layers of different warm wintery spices like nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, and cardamom. There are also a few unusual additions, including a touch of coriander and paprika which give just enough interest and depth to the cookie, taking it to the next level.
How do you make these cookies?
This cookies super easy to make, and unlike other ginger molasses cookies, and there’s no need to chill the dough. Mix together butter with dark brown sugar, molasses, fresh grated ginger, vanilla, baking soda, and a blend of spices like cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander, paprika, black pepper, cloves and salt. Then mix in flour until absorbed.
Form the balls of dough, roll them in white sugar or turbinado sugar, then bake.
Can I skip some of the spices?
If you don’t have all the spices, just omit them, or substitute with the same amount of cinnamon, ground ginger, or another warm wintry spice of your choice. I do highly recommend that you use fresh ground ginger in the recipe though. It has a vibrant potency that ground ginger just won’t give. But if you find the cookie has a little too much “kick” to it, you can dial it down by just adding in 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger instead of 2.
What sort of molasses should I use?
Molasses comes in a few different variety and flavors. You can use the mild or light flavor or the strong, dark, or robust flavor for these cookies. The mild or light flavored molasses will yield a slightly sweeter cookie, while the strong or robust flavored molasses will give a slight bitter, more assertive molasses flavor.
Avoid using blackstrap, sorghum or pomegranate molasses. Blackstrap molasses has a strong bitter flavor that will overpower the cookie spices. Sorghum and pomegranate molasses are not the same things a standard sugarcane molasses, with sorghum molasses made from sorghum grain and pomegranate molasses made from pomegranate juice that has been reduced into a syrup. Neither will give you the traditional ginger molasses cookie flavor you are looking for.
How do you store these cookies?
These cookies keep well, as they don’t have any egg in them. Store them at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them, for up to 3 months, by storing them the freezer in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag.
Can I make these into jumbo-sized ginger molasses cookies?
Yes! To make this jumbo size, just double the size of the cookie dough, using 2 tablespoons of dough or 50 grams each, then squish them down to 2 1/2-inch wide disks that are 1/2-inch thick. Roll and bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Makes 12 jumbo-sized cookies.
If you like these chewy ginger molasses cookies, check out these other cookie recipes, suitable for the holidays:
- Chocolate Crackle Cookies
- Striped Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Hot Chocolate Cookies
- Red Velvet Crackle Cookies
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Streusel Topping
- Funky Pistachio and Cranberry Cookies
- Glazed Little Orange Cookies, aka the Best Christmas Cookie
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature, 115 g
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar 110 g
- 1/3 cup molasses light or dark molasses, not blackstrap, 100 g
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger about a 2-inch piece
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 210 g
- 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger 50 g
- 1/2 cup Turbinado sugar or white sugar, 135 g
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or silicone baking mat.Place the butter, brown sugar, molasses, fresh grated ginger, vanilla, ground ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, paprika, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.Mix the butter together with the sugar, molasses and spices until the mixture is well blended, uniform in color, and clinging to the side of the bowl as a paste. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through, to make sure everything is incorporated and blended.
- Add the flour and slowly mix, until the flour is absorbed and a dough forms. Make sure to scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl again halfway through.Add the crystalized ginger and stir until mixed in and evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Place the Turbinado (or white) sugar in a medium bowl, then scoop out 1 tablespoon of cookie dough (about 25 g each) and roll it into a ball. Roll it in the Turbinado (or white) sugar and then place it on the baking sheet. Repeat the process, placing the balls of dough about 2 inches apart. Press down with your fingers or the palm of your hand to flatten each ball into about a 1 1/2-inch wide disk that is 1/2-inch thick. Bake in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the top of the dough starts to crack a little. Try not to overbake the cookies, you want them soft and chewy.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to cool and firm up, then move them to a wire cooling rack. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.