I’ve always declared cookies as my favorite dessert, but not just any cookies. In fact, as a kid I didn’t like dry cookies, crispy cookies, flaky cookies, or even chocolate cookies. Consequently, I wasn’t usually the first one to dive into the Christmas cookie platter. But when I spotted those tender, thick molasses cookies, it was hard to hold me back. These days, I’m not as particular about my cookie cravings. But I still love big molasses cookies, as long as they’re dairy free!
And this year I decided to share my favorite holiday cookies with the people in my building. I think they were a bit surprised by such early holiday cheer, but they certainly weren’t going to turn down these marvelous molasses cookies. I thought about gifting them to just our close neighbors, but there has been a bit of upheaval in our entire building lately, so I knew more people could use a jumbo cookie!
These big molasses cookies do keep fairly well when sealed in an airtight container, so they’re great for gifting and gatherings. The sugar coating is optional, but it does seal the deal on sweetness! I do find that the cookies come out more tender overall without the sugar coating, but are more crispy-chewy with the sugar coating. I used Bob’s Red Mill cane sugar for a generous dusting that still stood out. But if you want extra holiday sparkle, they also have sparkling sugar.
I also tested these as dairy-free roll and cut molasses cookies. They work pretty well! The dough is stiff, so you don’t want to refrigerate it first, just roll away. I rolled mine about an 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness and baked them for just 9 to 10 minutes.
Special Diet Notes: Big Molasses Cookies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For egg-free and vegan big molasses cookies, use 1 flax egg, 1 chia egg, or 3 tablespoons aquafaba. In a pinch, you can just add 2 to 3 tablespoons water, as needed to get the right dough consistency.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 2½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (3/4 teaspoon above 3000 feet)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅜ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup sustainable palm shortening
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ¼ cup molasses (can use blackstrap for deep/rich)
- 1 large egg (see post above for vegan option)
- sparkling sugar (or more cane sugar), for rolling
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Put the shortening, brown sugar and cane sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until creamed, Add the molasses and egg and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour and beat to combine. The dough will become very thick. Switch to stirring, if needed.
- For big cookies, roll the dough into ping pong-sized balls (about 1½ inches in diameter), and optionally roll them in sugar. Place them 2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on how thick vs how chewy you want them.