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Friday, December 9, 2011

Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookie Recipe

In anticipation of our Cookie Swap for a Cause on December 18, I signed up to swap vintage Christmas cookies in Somerville on December 10 and swap recipes in a virtual cookie swap (read to the bottom for details). I figured it would get me in the cookie swapping mood and give me the chance to test out another recipe. But as I discovered in my first foray with vintage recipes, they don't give you much information to go on. No oven temps, no cooking times, and vague measurements of ingredients.

Undeterred, I chose a recipe for molasses cookies, since I already had a big jar of molasses and most of the other ingredients in my pantry, and set out to create my own variation with more precise measurements and instructions. Adding the flour a half cup at a time and throwing in a hint of vanilla, I stopped once the cookie dough reached a rich caramel color and consistency.

The original recipe warns not to roll the dough too thin but this dough's texture called for dropping rather than rolling. Also, parchment paper may be an anachronism but it sure simplified clean-up!

The end result? A soft, not-too-sweet cookie that's reminiscent of gingerbread.

Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies


  • 2 egg whites and 2 yolks (beaten separately)
  • 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine beaten egg whites and yolks, boiling water, melted butter, vanilla extract, and molasses in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture and mix thoroughly.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop spoonfuls of dough several apartment (lumps will smooth out while baking but cookies will expand so don't drop them too close together or too close to the edges).
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies (longer for crispier cookies).
  7. Cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 3-4 dozen

In addition to swapping these cookies at the vintage Christmas cookie swap, I'm sharing this recipe in a virtual cookie swap for a twenty-first century twist. While you're choosing a recipe and warming up the oven, check out the recipes from these other bloggers:


  1. My hubby will LOVE these! And I like baking with molasses. :)

  2. Yum, these are now on my list to try!
    Super cute blog too!

  3. I love gingerbread but I don't think I've ever made it, I'm going to have to try this.

  4. I love an old-fashioned biscuit recipe. Thanks for sharing!