Chewy molasses cookies make excellent snacks and yummy desserts

Karen Gordon offers up her secrets to creating perfectly chewy molasses cookies

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This past holiday season, the most requested cookie recipe by friends and family, was for my chewy molasses cookie sandwiches. And just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean that cookie season is done. C’mon, who doesn’t love cookies?

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Cookies are a food group on their own, are they not? Seriously, cookies are great to have around. They make excellent mid-morning and afternoon snacks and yummy desserts. Best part, they’re quick and easy to whip up.

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These warm and spicy chewy molasses sandwich cookies are perfect for our cool winter weather. The flavours of cinnamon, ginger, and molasses will warm you up. They’re perfect when served with a delicious cup of joe mid-morning, or with a steaming cup of tea in the afternoon. These thick and fat, old-fashioned cookies are sure to become your next favourite cool-weather treat.

Before trying these cookies, I’ve always been a crisp and crunchy cookie person. However, these chewy molasses sandwich cookies converted me. They’re soft, tender, and chewy with just a tiny bit of crunch from the sparkling sugar. And that layer of cream cheese frosting. Yum. You’ll be hard pressed to stop at one!

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Not a cream cheese fan? No problem. These cookies hold their own. They remind me of gingerbread, only way better, because they’re not cakey. If you’re still looking for that sandwich cookie experience, use these cookies to create your own ice-cream sandwiches. Slab a slice of vanilla ice cream between two of these chewy babies and you’ve got yourself one heck of a dessert.

Here are a few secrets to creating perfectly chewy molasses cookies:

• Use room temperature, softened butter. Do not use melted butter. Room temperature butter when whipped, holds air which then creates lift and tenderness in the cookie dough. This results in deliciously soft cookies. Melted butter on the other hand is liquid and holds no air, resulting in a flat, dense cookie.

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• Use fancy, not backstrap molasses. Fancy molasses is sweet and adds depth and caramel flavours to your cookie. Blackstrap molasses on the other hand, is thick, dark, and bitter tasting and should not be used for baking.

• Do not overmix the cookie dough. Only mix the dough until it starts to clump together and stop. Overmixing incorporates too much air into the dough causing the cookies to rise rapidly and then collapse in the oven, resulting in flat cookies. Overmixing also leads to excessive gluten development in the dough resulting in hard, dense cookies.

• Use a cookie scoop for evenly sized cookies. The cookie scoop is one of my favourite baking tools. I hardly ever make cookies without it. Having uniform size dough not only allows your cookies to bake evenly, but they also help you match the tops and bottoms together easily. For these cookies and for most of my cookie recipes, I recommend using the #40 cookie scoop which dispenses approximately 1.6 tablespoons of dough per levelled scoop. It makes perfectly sized cookies for 4-5 decent bites.

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• Roll the domed tops of the cookie dough in sparkling sugar. Do not use granulated or sanding sugar. Since most sugars sparkle, do not let the word sparkling confuse you. Sparkling sugar consists of extra-large crystals that will not melt in a hot oven and adds crunch to your baking. No sparkling sugar? No problem. Feel free to substitute Demerara or Turbinado sugar for Sparking sugar instead. While Demerara and Turbinado sugars will add the desired crunch to the cookies, due to their raw nature, the sugar will not be sparkly.

• To get that perfect texture of chewiness and creaminess, you need to mature the cookies. However, before maturing the cookies, you need to set the filling. Place filled cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet, in the refrigerator to set for one hour. Once the filling is set, transfer the sandwich cookies into an airtight container, and place it in the refrigerator to mature overnight or longer. The maturation process helps enhance the overall texture, structure, and flavour of the cookie. Do not rush the process. Failing to mature the cookies will result in the filling squishing out the sides as you bite down on them.

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Chewy Molasses Sandwich Cookies

Chewy molasses cookies:

2-1/4 cup (270g) all-purpose flour

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup (60ml) fancy molasses

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup (65g) coarse sparkling sugar (or substitute with Demerara or Turbinado sugar)

Cream cheese filling:

4oz (1/2 block) cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter

2 cups (250g) confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp milk

Instructions for molasses cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl whisk flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

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In a stand mixer outfitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy.

Add sugar and continue beating until well combined and creamy.

Add egg, molasses, and vanilla extract. Continue beating for another minute.

Add flour mixture and mix until cookie dough starts to clump together. Do not over mix.

Using a medium-size cookie scoop, and levelling off each scoop, add cookie dough to a sheet of parchment paper.

Working with 1 scoop of cookie dough at a time, dredge the tops of the dough in sparkling sugar. Then place cookie dough 2” apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 11 to 12 minutes until cookies are set around the edges. Cookies will look somewhat underdone in the middle. That’s OK. They are supposed to look like that.

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Remove from oven and slide parchment paper along with cookies into a cooling rack.

Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Once cookies are fully cooled, match them in pairs then pipe cream cheese filling onto one half of the cookie and top with second half.

Place filled cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour or until set.

Once set, place cookies in an airtight container, in the refrigerator to mature overnight or longer.

Allow cookies to come to room temperature, approximately 1 hour, before serving. Enjoy!

Instructions for cream cheese filling:

Beat cream cheese in a stand mixer outfitted with a paddle attachment until light and creamy. Then add butter and continue beating until fluffy.

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Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk and continue beating until mixture is well combined.

Add filling to piping bag and pipe as described above.

Makes 13 cookie sandwiches

The instructional video for these chewy molasses sandwich cookies is available on Pinterest @karentologyblog

Karen Gordon is a food blogger from North Vancouver who shares her recipe creations online at, on Instagram at @karen.t.ology, and on Pinterest @karentologyblog.

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