This will be my first Christmas in London, UK, and I’ve brought my classic holiday baking recipes from Canada with me (although, I feel like my idea of what a so-called classic is evolves with each passing season!). Ginger molasses cookies are a seasonal stalwart for most, the compass of the Christmas cookie classics with their warm, homespun appeal and welcoming aroma echoing the holiday season itself. This particular chewy ginger molasses cookie recipe is adapted from Canadian Living, a magazine I grew up reading and cooking from.
My mom kept her all-star Canadian Living back issues filed tidily in cardboard magazine holders on a bookshelf in our basement. The December holiday issues were the most exciting for me to flip through as a kid because of the gorgeous holiday baking ideas. With every year, a new holiday issue was added to the mix, its delivery to our mailbox bringing me so much Christmassy excitement. To this day, I’m still utterly delighted when I receive the holiday issues of my glossy food magazines in the mail (my true nerdiness is coming through loud and clear here).
From those Canadian Living holiday issues, we made lemon bars, white chocolate cranberry blondies, chocolate truffles, and many other treats that were presented on dessert trays for seasonal entertaining. But we never whipped up ginger molasses crinkle cookies. My mom passed away 11 years ago this coming January, so I spent the last decade exploring my own range of Christmas cookie classics to share with family and friends, which, as of this year, will now include these ginger molasses cookies. Their soft, super-spicy appeal just feels right this time of year.
What’s more, they’re easy to make, perfume the home with warming spices, and stay soft and chewy for days thanks to molasses (black treacle in the UK). Both the dough and cookies can be made ahead and stored in the freezer for enjoying and gifting throughout the holiday season.
These cookies, which really do sparkle on the plate, are a new-classic, new-favourite holiday sweet, and I’m delighted to share the recipe that I will use for years to come, here with you today.
Chewy Ginger Sparkle Cookies
These soft, tender chewy ginger molasses cookies are perfect for your holiday cookie exchange, gifting, and sharing with family and friends.
Makes 24 large or 48 small
1/3 salted or unsalted butter, softened/room temperature (I prefer salted)
1 cup granulated cane sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup fancy molasses (I used black treacle, which the UK equivalent)
2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper
½ cup coarse cane sugar, for rolling
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and molasses. Whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, and salt; stir into butter mixture until combined.
- Place coarse sugar on a plate. Pinch out a generous (2 Tbsp for larger, 1 Tbsp for smaller; I chose larger, which is what you see in the photos) portion of dough, roll into a ball, coat in coarse sugar, and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing dough balls 2-inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup, gently press to flatten cookies slightly.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until dry on top and crinkled. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Store cookies airtight in the freezer up to 1 month, or at room temperature up to 5 days.
Adapted from Canadian Living.