Every Christmas season I have a need to try to find the absolute best Chewy Ginger Molasses cookies out there. Three years ago I actually tested out recipes and ‘forced’ them on the same people to see which one they prefer. There was the more ‘cakey’ ginger & spice recipe that I had been making for years, the ginger molasses crinkles that my friend swears by, the double ginger cookies with candied ginger as well as powdered ginger, and one more that I don’t remember (obviously not the best one). Every week I would bring a different one to work and insist on my co-workers eating them and giving me feedback! Well, the consensus was that they were all good. Some liked the kick of the double ginger, some liked the texture of the cakey ones and others liked the crinkles.
Well the next year came and I still wasn’t sure that I had the absolute BEST recipe. So I tried a couple more and found this recipe. I love this one. The cookies are so incredibly chewy and soft and although they are thin, I love the texture. And the spice and molasses is perfect! I of course still must try other recipes (and did try one earlier this year, which was a total fail – they were crispy and not so great!) but so far this seems to be my favourite! Although the amazing Starbucks version, which has both the thick and chewy feel that is required of this kind of cookie and the spice that gives the perfect flavour for this season, was my original goal, I have found that this version is delicious by its own standards. I still have one more recipe to try this year though! It is supposed to be excellent as well! We will have to see…
I learned something important this year. Although I knew there was a difference in the three types of molasses available, I always forgot what the difference was when I went to buy more. So I guess last time I bought ‘Fancy’ molasses and made one batch of these cookies. Well they weren’t very dark and although they were still delicious, I didn’t feel like they had the full taste of molasses that I was looking for. Luckily, I ran out after making these cookies and had to buy more. This time, as usual, I still didn’t remember what I needed – only what I had previously used (and that it was too light). So this time I bought the one with the gingersnap recipe on the side – the ‘Blackstrap’ Molasses. Then I learned the difference: fancy molasses is the lightest and actually isn’t a byproduct of the sugar making process, unlike Blackstrap, which is the darkest, has the strongest flavour and is the leftover byproduct of the sugar making process. And ‘Cooking” molasses – well that is the one that is generally supposed to be used apparently! It is a mix of the two so it has a “middle-of-the-line” flavour and colour. To show the difference, I actually made these cookies with both fancy and blackstrap. I am sure you can see the difference.
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 2 1/4 c flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter, room temp
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tb water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 c molasses
- 2 Tb white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a regular bowl and a hand mixer), beat butter and 1 cup of sugar together until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Beat in the egg, then the water, vanilla and molasses.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients while beating.
- Shape the dough into 1 inch size balls (I use a 1.5 Tb cookie scoop and it is PERFECT!) and roll in the 2 Tb extra sugar. Place them on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until they look set but still soft. Allow the cookies to cool on baking sheet about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.