Before you write off any molasses cookie recipe because you think you don’t like molasses, please listen to writer and former BA staffer Jesse Sparks: these old-fashioned cookies are “so much more complex tasting than they seem like they should be, with punchy hits of cinnamon, a kiss of cardamom, and the zing of ginger, all backed up by that just-the-right-amount-of-bitter molasses.”
The recipe is also one of the simplest holiday cookie recipes out there, with very little prep time and no stand mixer required. In the time it takes to pre-heat your oven, you can get nearly all of your work done: Mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ones in another and combine. A cookie scoop isn’t necessary but comes in handy for even-sized dough balls that you’ll roll in sanding sugar for a glittery finish before placing on the cookie sheet and baking.
If you’re new to buying molasses, keep in mind that there are several varieties, including blackstrap molasses, and sulphured and unsulphured varieties. Stick with light varieties for mild molasses flavor or opt for a robust, dark one for something bolder. The molasses keeps these cookies magically fresh and chewy for days in an airtight container, making them a perfect candidate for a holiday cookie tin or Christmas cookie plate with lavender-lemon crinkle cookies and tahini billionaire bars, or classics like sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, or peanut butter cookies.