These Soft Molasses Cookies with Candied Ginger are truly the BEST – chewy soft centers, slightly crisp edges, sugary tops, and a rich spiced flavor. The addition of candied or crystalized ginger adds a textural surprise and an extra pop of gingery flavor. There is just the right amount of molasses, brown sugar and spices for perfect balance and flavor. For molasses cookies, always use unsulfured molasses. When recipes call for “molasses,” they never mean blackstrap. Always check the ingredient list to make sure what you buy contains “molasses” and nothing more. Grandma’s and Brer Rabbit brands are both recommended.
Candied ginger and crystallized ginger are the same thing. The flavor is sweet, spicy and concentrated. Chewy and gumdrop like, the candied ginger adds a delightful texture, not to mention the intense burst of spicy-sweet flavor. You can find candied ginger at most grocery stores, either in the produce section or the dried fruit aisle.
The cookies are best when they are not overbaked. You may think they look underdone, but the residual heat will finish the baking and maintain chewiness. When baked properly, the cookies hold very well. Irresistibly delicious and addictive!
Soft Molasses Cookies with Candied Ginger
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar (I like to use light brown)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup mild flavored molasses, like Grandma’s or Brer Rabbit
- ½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sanding sugar (for rolling dough balls in)
- Pre-heat oven to 325° convection. Do not grease baking sheets if they have a non-stick finish. Otherwise, spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and spices and set aside.
- Beat butter and brown sugar in stand mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
- Add egg, molasses, crystallized ginger and vanilla; mix on medium speed until combined.
- Add flour mixture to mixer bowl and mix at low speed just until combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
- Roll dough into balls about 1½” in diameter (you can use a #40 cookie scoop). Roll in sanding sugar. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten to 2”. I like to use the bottom of a ¼ cup measuring cup for this. Sprinkle flattened cookies with more sugar.
- Bake 7 minutes, until edges feel slightly firm. Do not overbake if you want a nice chewy, soft interior. The cookies may look underdone, but residual heat will finish baking them.