Prepared with classic Christmas ingredients, Ginger Molasses Cookies flood the senses with thoughts and memories of home.
If you ask me to define the taste of Christmas – and, I know that sounds weird! – I would certainly include molasses into the description. Molasses has always been a staple ingredient in my mom’s pantry just as it has been in mine.
I’ll try to describe the taste of Christmas to you – just for fun! To me, based on my upbringing and traditions, Christmas tastes sweet and warm. It’s inviting and friendly, it’s comforting and hearty, and it’s also homey and amateur. There’s no room for perfection in Christmas baking!
The taste described above would be the result of ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice; and of granulated sugar, brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, molasses, and corn syrup. Are you conjuring up the taste?
If you’re having difficulty, then all you need to do is imagine the taste of these Ginger Molasses Cookies – or better yet, bake them in your home and you won’t need to use your imagination. You’ll know exactly what Christmas tastes (and smells!) like to me!
Let’s talk about Molasses!
There are basically three types of molasses – light, dark, and blackstrap. If you boil cane sugar once, you will get light molasses. If you boil it twice, you’ll get dark molasses. So, boiling it three times, must mean that you’ll get blackstrap molasses. Remember, the darker the molasses (blackstrap) the less sweet and more bitter it is.
Never use blackstrap molasses in a recipe unless instructed to do so by the author of the recipe. You can use light or dark without changing the taste drastically. There’s also sulphured and unsulphured molasses. The difference between the two is that the sulphured molasses has been chemically treated with preservatives.
If you buy molasses to make these cookies and have lots left over, there’s plenty you can do with it. One of my favourite sources of recipe inspiration is Taste of Home. Here’s a list of 33 Amazing Molasses Recipes!
Can I use Treacle instead?
Yes. In essence, treacle is the British version of molasses. It comes in two forms: light treacle or golden syrup, which is very similar to a light molasses. Black treacle is similar to blackstrap molasses, but is lighter in colour and not as bitter. I use unsulphured fancy molasses and black treacle interchangeably.
What is Turbinado Sugar and do I need to have it?
Turbinado sugar is sugar that has been partially refined, meaning that it retains some of the original molasses, which is what gives it that slight caramel flavour and colour.
Turbinado, or raw sugar, is made from sugarcane. The crystals are also much larger than regular white granulated sugar. Do you need it? No. You can roll the cookie dough into turbinado or sanding sugar, often called pearl or decorating sugar.
You can skip the rolling in sugar part completely, but if you choose to do that, you will not end up with a glistening, shiny cookie like the one you see in the photographs.
Can I freeze these cookies?
Yes – absolutely! When the cookies have cooled, pack them into a cookie tin or a food-safe container with a tight fitting lid. Freeze for up to three months. To thaw, remove from freezer and remove the lid. Allow the cookies to thaw to room temperature.
I’ve given you more information than you needed to read through to get to the recipe, but I want to make sure you have the best Ginger Molasses Cookie experience!
These are a favourite among many of my friends who has ever tried one and I’m sure they will be a success for you too. Also, these make a lovely gift for a neighbour when packaged in a cellophane bag or cookie tin. (That’s if you can part with them!)
You can find all of my Christmas recipes on my Christmas archives page here: Christmas Recipes This is where you’ll find all of the recipes in this series as they become available. And, just in case you’re impatient, you can always refer back to last year’s 24 Cookies of Christmas! Click on the image below for a complete list. I’ll see you back here tomorrow with another great cookie from Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series – Volume 2!!
If you loved this recipe, here are some others that might interest you as well:
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Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and be sure the rack is set to the middle position. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy using a hand-held mixer.
- Add the molasses and egg. Beat well to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients in this order: flour, baking soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.
- On low speed, use your mixer to incorporate all of the ingredients. Don't over mix, just until the white of the flour disappears.
- Portion the cookie dough into 2 tablespoon mounds. Roll the mounds into a ball and then roll each ball into the turbinado sugar. Place on the baking sheet leaving a 3 inch space between each cookie.
- Bake one sheet of cookies at a time for 10-12 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to continue the cooling process.
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