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Some ginger—but no snap—in these Molasses Softies

Molasses Softies.The softness of these cookies is a delightful surprise to those that assume they are ginger snaps. These soft cookies have been a hit since I first made them during my senior year in college in 1994. At the time I was looking to expand on the variety of cookies I made and this recipe first caught my eye because it contained dark corn syrup, molasses and milk—three ingredients I had never before used for cookies. In addition to molasses, the flavor of this cookie is derived from ground clove, ginger and cinnamon. The smell of these cookies baking is reminiscent of fall and winter holidays, but I enjoy their great taste year round.

Like any dark cookie dough, determining doneness by browning can be tricky. Other dark cookies will just start to burn and you know you have gone too far, but the key to good molasses softies is: keep them soft. Overcooked, these cookies will be hard, dry and crunchy long before they will actually burn. These cookies bake longer than most cookies and time can vary considerably depending on how large you roll the dough. I’ve rolled them as large as 1 3/4 inches and they cooked for 16 minutes. I’ve been a little more conservative lately and am rolling them 1 1/2 inches in diameter to yield a finished cookie 3 inches wide, which takes about 14 minutes.

For your first time baking these, I’d recommend baking a single cookie first. Once the timer goes off, quickly open the oven door and slice off an edge of the cookie. There should be just a thin layer of dark brown in the middle. If there is a lot, close the door and wait a minute and repeat on another edge, noting the total elapsed time. Once you have the time figured for your oven and dough ball size, stick with that time for subsequent baking runs and roll each ball of dough the same size as. Once removed from the oven, leave them on the cookie sheet for one to two minutes. This will let the cookie firm up a little and finish cooking that thin layer of dark brown, resulting in a pefectly round and chewy cookie.

Ingredients for making Molasses Softies.

Beat butter, sugar and egg until fluffy.

Pour milk, molasses and corn syrup into butter, sugar and egg mixture.

Mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, clove and cinnamon together and slowly add to the dough until incorporated.

Form dough into generous sized ball and roll in sugar to coat.

After baking around 14 minutes in 350° F. oven, let cool on sheets for 1 – 2 minutes.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Molasses Softies recipe page.

  • I love the taste of ginger and I definitely prefer soft, chewy cookies over crispy ones so these sound like a winner as far as I’m concerned!

  • I made ginger cookies for the first time a week or so ago and got completely addicted, Brian. I’d love to try these!

  • I too prefer them as chewy cookies. These look so good. I always love your site and your pictures of each step. Its so much fun to read and look at.

  • Patricia: Akismet filter nearly swallowed up your comment! The nerve! You should give these a shot. Ginger doesn’t play a starring role in this cookie, but it is there. These are more gingerbread than gingersnap as far as flavor goes. yum! I added a link to your Gingernut Cookie recipe from the molasses softies recipe page.

    Brilynn: I like some cookies a little crisp on edges, but soft in the middle, though these cookies are best soft all they way through.

    Cheryl: I’m trying harder on the intro pictures. I wish all my step by step photos could be so nice, but it’s hard enough to get all the cooking done with the tripod in the kitchen, let alone worry about lighting for each shot.

  • I’m with Brilynn – I too prefer soft cookies. Looks amazing.

  • Brian,

    I must have written a forbidden word or something – I’m glad you found it before it was too late! 😀

    Tks for the link, it’s great!

  • Joe

    I love any kind of ginger cookies, but soft ginger cookies have a place in my heart! These look delicious!