A Haven for Vee

Monday, January 16, 2012

Molasses Cookies Take 2

My comments in orange with Pondsy's in teal.

With many thanks to Mary MacDonald and her daughter who blogs at *Pondside.* These are the cookies John and I remember so well.

Soft Molasses Cookies Mary MacDonald's Soft Molasses Cookies ☺ (I copied this from my mum's book in 1974 - I date all my recipes!)

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup water

Cream butter and sugar, blend in molasses and egg and beat well.
In a separate bowl, combine next four ingredients.
Dissolve baking soda in water and add it alternately with the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and blend.
Drop by tablespoons full on to greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes or until done.

If I were you I'd watch the first cookie sheet carefully as these are big and soft and depending on the oven can easily burn on the bottom.

Thank you so much. The minute I saw the ¼ cup of water I thought "bingo." My mother would say that the trick was all in the water. If one wanted soft cookies, one used either hot or cold water, and if one wanted a tougher cookie one would use either hot or cold water. I remember thinking that, whichever way it went, the soft cookie used just the opposite from what one would think. In my mind, that's cold water, but I could be wrong. Have you ever heard anything like this before?

For soft cookies, use cold water. Weird, but true!

Please give the credit to my mother, Mary MacDonald, who baked these every Friday of my childhood. I hope they turn out well!

They turned out very well, just as we remember! They were even better the second day. We can't say about the third day because the cookie tin is e.m.p.t.y.

a soft molasses cookie...yummo!

Some have asked about molasses. We use Crosby's, which offers an unsulphered molasses considered the highest quality. It is not the black strap variety, which is pretty intense...very thick and black and refers to the third boiling of cane sugar. Black strap is often found in feed stores and healthfood stores. The joy of Crosby's is that it is processed in St. John, New Brunswick. When we visit the cottage in summer, we are able to replenish our molasses supplies much less expensively (can purchase an entire gallon of molasses in New Brunswick for the price I pay for a 16 ounce bottle here). It's one of those items that is on my list for anyone heading to the Maritimes. I think this must be true of any state that borders Canada. We have our favorite things on the other side after all! 

Thank you for revisiting molasses cookies with me! Have you ever rediscovered a favorite recipe?


  1. How wonderful that you found the perfect recipe! It just never tastes as good as you remember if it's made any other way.

    One of my favorite recipes is a zucchini casserole. My mother made it often and it's so good, I think eating the entire casserole would have been possible. Thank goodness I had to share with others because it's one of those old favorites that has lots and lots of cheese and all of those good things we're told not to eat now.

  2. Looks yummy! I have my Aunt Katie's Molasses Crinkle Cookie Recipe and it is much the same as this one. Have loved these since childhood! I like to use a home made sorgum molasses made locally or a local made black strap as you described. Somewhere I have a very old family photo of molasses milling time, I will have to hunt it up and share it with you.

    Hope you have a great day!

  3. How wonderful that you found the exact recipe! I use water in my raisin filled cookie dough - never heard about the temperature though I do use cold. My cousin makes the same cookies and always says that hers are tough - this may be the reason. I'll have to ask her the water temp.


  4. Thanks for the recipe.
    I have printed the recipe and will make them soon.
    Another way to get soft cookies is to store them with a piece of bread. My gramma told me that one.

    It is only 11 degrees out this morning. I'm waiting until it warms up a bit before walking this morning!

  5. How great that you rediscovered your favorite recipe for molasses cookies. Your photo sure does them justice. I can understand why the cookie jar is now empty.
    I found it interesting that the temperature of the water would affect the softness/hardness of the cookie. I really think I need to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like the perfect comfort food.

  6. Oh these sound just wonderful. I am glad you found that recipe again. When my daughter married I spend months putting together a recipe book of all of our families favorites over the years. Soo now they are all in the "book" haha....Have a wonderful day!

  7. They do look good! My molasses cookie recipe calls for melted shortening - which makes it hot. I have tried just solid non melted shortening and it doesn't work. My cookies are tender crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.

  8. JOHN must be in 7th Heaven! You having to make a recipe, TWICE!!! -giggles-

    Oh John, I can *see* you smiling, across a couple of states. -chuckle-

    “Don't you ever imagine things differently than what they are?
    Oh, Marilla, how much you miss.”

    ~L.M. Montgomery

  9. Thanks for giving the recipe. I love molasses cookies and am going to try your version. Soft and chewy cookies are the best.

  10. oh..now I will have to compare my recipe with yours and Pondsys. So fun. The molasses...yes...the same I use too.
    That cookie looks delicious.

  11. I wasn't blessed to grow up with molasses cookies. Alas, my mother didn't care for molasses... I LOVE it. Thanks for sharing a mama recipe for those of us who may have had to send her own kids away with the same story I have, no molasses cookie memories. Perish the thought! :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  12. Oh Vee! Thanks for finding and sharing your mother's molasses cookie recipe. I am going to try these once mine recipe ones are all gone. Yes....there are still about a dozen left! I'm trying to be good. There's nothing like Crosby's molasses and am surprised one can't get it cheaply in Maine. My friend in England made my recipe with treacle as they don't have molasses there. She said they turned out alright. I didn't realize there would be a difference between using hot or cold water. Interesting. Thanks for sharing and stay warm!! Hugs, Pam

  13. Then you won't enjoy these, Marti, as they are not one bit chewy.

  14. Vee,

    I learned something new about cooking today - it is all in the water. Cold for soft cookies....

    They look delicious - I don't usually make these, I didn't grow up with them either. My kids do love them though from a local bakery. I must put molasses on my list for Friday shopping.


  15. I'm glad you found the recipe you were looking for, Vee! I never knew that tip about cold water. I only use molasses when I make gingerbread and I;ve used the Grandma's brand, made in the US.

    I'm always looking for authentic Southern Calabrian region Italian recipes to surprise my husband with. His Mom was a wonderful cook but could not read or write so she was not able to pass on recipes. It's always a thrill for me when I can reproduce one of her delicious meals.

  16. This is the second blog today I'm smellin' molasses cookies at. I'm just gonna have to walk away from the computer and go make me some...


    'Just sayin'......Heeheehhe!

    God bless ya sweetie and have a marvelous kinda day!!!

  17. Vee,
    It's wonderful to have the recipe again! The cookies look wonderful, or at least the single one for the photo shoot does....Yum
    Mister and I love these kind of cookies. I really should make them. I've been thinking about it since your first post...

  18. Thanks for sharing the great tip about the water. Must remember that one!

    My great-grandmother used to make a coconut cake for holidays that I've only heard about because no one had the recipe and evidently no one had ever watched her make it. So glad Mary's daughter was able to provide the cookie recipe for you so your family will be able to taste -- as well as remember -- your mom's recipe!


  19. It's snowing here - just a little bit. I'm so excited (we don't get much snow). Baking cookies sounds like the perfect thing to do! And my husband will thank me. From Ontario to BC to New England back to BC goes the recipe.

  20. Oh now...those look real good and I wish I had one.

  21. I could go for one of these! You're making me hungry. Oh wait, it's lunch time!

  22. Oh to sample one of these cookies with a cup of tea, mmmm. Glad you were able to recreate your childhood memory. I use Grandma's molasses as that is what I find here. Also one with a rabbit on the bottle, tho I haven't seen that one in a while. xo

  23. Hi Vee - I've been out of pocket. Loved ths post - I ran across those little chocolate oatmeal cookies and the recipe awhile back and I've made several batches. They are easy and I always have all the ingredients! I forgot how good they were! These molasses cookies look great, too. I bet it would be even more expensive to buy molasses here in Texas, too!

  24. I remembered an oatmeal cookie from when I was very young. As a young wife and mom, I asked for the recipe. Mom didn't remember it at all but she made many cookies trying to match my memory. After Mom was gone, I got some of her cookbooks including one for the stove in their first house. A slightly spattered page suggested I had found my cookie - Oatmeal Spice Cakes – they are the memory cookie and so good!
    Thank you, Vee, for visiting the other day and your kind comment.

  25. I've never had a Molasses cookie in my life but I have all the ingredients and will make them...maybe tonight when we get home from the basketball game. (we have 4 g'girls playing this year). If not tonight, first thing in the morning, while I am folding coffee filters to make the cute wreath that DEBBIEDOO made...:))
    When I burn myself with the hot glue gun, taking a bite of a good cookies is bound to help my feelings. :)))
    Thanks for this recipe, LADIES....xoxoxo

  26. That made me feel a bit teary-eyed, Vee. My mum doesn't bake much anymore, but getting this recipe out of the box for you brought back so many lovely memories for me. My mum never used a rack to cool her cookies, but opened up the brown paper grocery bags and spread them over the table. Every Friday she'd bake these cookies and oatmeal cookies that were not very sweet - some she'd sandwich with a lovely date mixture.

  27. I shall save this recipe for after my op!

  28. Three cheers for success! And cookies that disappear in two days are a sure sign of success!

    I, on the other hand, still have a few cookies left in my Christmas tins. Yes I do. And my husband is not willing that I throw them out, thrift soul that he is. I suppose that we should not make so many cookies next year...or that we force more on our guests?

    But, as molasses cookies are some of my favorites, I must try out your newfound recipe...in the name of culinary experimentation, of course. :D

  29. Wow you folks do love your cookies
    I'm afraid I do too and would eat the whole batch single-handed if I made these!
    Oh, but they do look soft & yummy just the way I like mine.

  30. after all, I'm on the other side as well.... ;-) though not NB, more Ontario way..

    yummy cookies have noted the recipe, and when my New Year's Resolutions have faded a little bit I may have to make up a batch and allow my self one or two.....or three....maybe 4...lol

    have a wonderful week, we are in for yet another snow storm and freezing rain/ice pellets here today...sigh

  31. I am on my way to the kitchen as we speak and the only thought running thru my head at this stage of the game is
    HOT or COLD water? Is it gonna make a lot of difference? I am sailing in
    uncharted waters here, ya know. I am not really a cook...I just play-like.
    I'll be back after the flour clears in the kitchen..........

  32. Look and sound yummy. Have copied recipe but will be using Black Strap. Love that straight from the spoon.

  33. Vee, these look delicious! I've saved the recipe and will definitely be trying it! Thanks for sharing! xo

    1. Lynda, my friend, I can not believe that you are gone since last December. I only found out last week and I have been in shock since. How I loved finding a comment from you. I so loved your beautiful blog and I am weepy just thinking that you will not write there again. Heaven is richer for having you safely home. Until we meet again...


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