long winter molasses cookies

by jenna on November 5, 2010

my, are these ever yummy.

If you’re a big molasses/old fashioned cookie fan in general, you’ll go crazy for these large flat spicy cookies. You all are probably going to laugh at me when I say this, but I really feel like these cookies are cookies that Laura Ingalls would take to school, tucked in the pocket of her prairie dress.

Okay, get it over with.

I know you’re laughing at the poor girl on the other side of the computer who lives vicariously through a children’s book character.

Heh heh heh heh.

It’s not as if I re-read every Little House book ever written every few years…or drink cambric tea every morning…or make vanity cakes like that one time at Nelly’s birthday party…or nickname my real life boyfriend “almanzo” after my first true literary love.

good grief!


These molasses cookies are crisp…almost like a ginger snap. Now normally, I prefer a more chewier spice cookie but I love the snap and texture of these. They are sturdy and sweet, and would be lovely drizzled with a basic flat icing.

To make ‘em, just mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and….a sprinkle of white pepper! that’s the secret!) in a bowl.

For the record, I usually don’t mix my cookie dough in pots. I was just currently out of bowls.

Actually, I just didn’t feel like washing any more dishes. So there.

wet ingredients in another pot bowl:

melted butter, eggie, sugar and molassessssss!

Mix together wet and dry and then wrap up and chill for an hour. I usually hate cookies that require chilling time….but these are worth it!

When the dough is all nice and firm from the fridge, roll it out and either use cookie cutters or a glass to cut nice big, round cookies.

Bake the cookies at 375 for eight minutes. They taste better when eaten out of a prairie dress pocket…with a nice cold glass of milk.

Long Winter Molasses Cookies

makes about two dozen large cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4th tsp ground white pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 stick + 4 T melted butter

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, white pepper, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, egg and molasses. Stir well to combine.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to form a sticky dough. Wrap in wax paper and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling out on a flour surface and punching with either cookie cutters or a glass.

Bake cookies on a lined sheet tray at 375 for eight minutes.

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Tab - Just Weighing In November 5, 2010 at 8:06 am

oh my heavens those look amazing! Definitely adding it to my list of things to try soon!

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Michele @ Healthy Cultivations November 5, 2010 at 8:14 am

It’s so interesting how there’s pepper in these cookies.

And isn’t molasses so pretty. Makes me think of people saying things like, “…slow as molasses in January.” :)

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katie November 5, 2010 at 8:18 am

i kind of love the fact that you love the little house on a prairie series almost as much as i do – and i hope when i have kids that the books are still as loved then as they were when we were kids.

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Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin November 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

Oh my gosh these look incredible!! I bet they would be delicious crumbled over some ice cream or oatmeal!

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Camille November 5, 2010 at 8:21 am

Well this is news to me! I thought that Almanzo was your boy’s real name!

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Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf November 5, 2010 at 8:23 am

A long time ago, in my homeschool cooperative group, I took a class called “Prairie Primer.” Basically we read through and discussed the Laura Ingalls Wilder books then we did a bunch of fun crafts and whatnot that Laura might have done. On the last day of class we had a party and had to bring something to eat that was common in those days. I brought hardtack. Yes, I so did.

But one of the helpers (a parent) in the class brought roast duck. Holy moley was it good!

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jenna November 5, 2010 at 8:27 am

ooo i bet these are spicy little things!

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Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun November 5, 2010 at 8:27 am

I love how much you adore Laura Ingalls Wilder. And those cookies do sound like something right out of one of the books.

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Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries November 5, 2010 at 8:28 am

I LOVED molasses cookies. Definitely an underrated treat!

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meg November 5, 2010 at 8:29 am

I see what you did there re: the title of this post! I can’t find that book in my collection and I’m sad because I want to read it – it’s one of my favorites.

ALSO, I’ve thought all this time that his name actually WAS Almanzo and I have to admit, I was a good bit jealous…

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janae@hungryrunnergirl.com November 5, 2010 at 8:32 am

My mom made molasses cookies at least once a month growing up! I can’t wait to try this recipe with her!! Thanks!!

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Jocelyn November 5, 2010 at 8:32 am

I LOVED the Laura Ingalls Wilder books! I used to wear prairie dresses and bonnets and petticoats to school when I was a kid. I also went to “Pioneer Camp” ….TWICE. So you are definitely not the only person who thinks they may have been born in the wrong century :)

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Natalia - a side of simple November 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

Laura puts purpose into my life, nuff said :)

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Andi November 5, 2010 at 8:40 am

These look great! I remember trying to make “snow candy” like Laura did by pouring molasses into cold snow when I was a little girl. Now that I live in chilly Wisconsin, I should try it again. And I must admit, the only way I get through Wisconsin winters, including trekking through huge snow drifts to get to work and school, is by imagining myself as Laura, bravely surviving a prairie blizzard.

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Estela @ Weekly Bite November 5, 2010 at 8:41 am

I love big ole molasses cookies like that !!!

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Megan (Braise The Roof) November 5, 2010 at 8:44 am

Those look like they would be amazing with a cup of coffee…3pm coffee break? A wise idea, I’d say. :) I’m with you on making cookie recipes that have to chill- although it’s great to make a double batch and just freeze the extra dough (since it usually freezes really well, too). Then you can make them again without having to start from scratch!

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The Blue-Eyed Bakers November 5, 2010 at 8:56 am

Oooh delicious! We LOVE molasses cookies…but have never had a crispy one…! Need to make these asap. And yes, they are totally Little House cookies..!

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Lynne November 5, 2010 at 8:59 am

Funny! I’ve been reading for a while, and I thought your boyfriend’s name WAS Almanzo!!

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Alina November 5, 2010 at 9:02 am

I just re-read Pride & Prejudice. I live vicariously through that book every few years, among others… no judgment, haha.

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Michelle November 5, 2010 at 9:05 am

Nice memory. I didn’t know Laura Ingalls carry these cookies in her pocket. Lol.

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Jillian @ Reshape Your Life November 5, 2010 at 9:05 am

I love reading your recipes. Half the time not even for the actual recipe!! Your writing style is so entertaining, it’s really a story within a recipe! I love them Jenna, keep them coming!

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Food & Other Things November 5, 2010 at 9:16 am

I love this type of cookie, especially in the winter! They go perfectly with a cup of tea!

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Maggie November 5, 2010 at 9:18 am

Those look good! Did you use blackstrap molasses or a different kind?

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Rachel @ The Avid Appetite November 5, 2010 at 9:20 am

Love molasses cookies and cakes! Perfect for the holiday season!

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Katie (Life... Discombobulated) November 5, 2010 at 9:20 am

If it helps, when I read the title “Long Winter Molasses Cookies” my thoughts immediately went to Kiersten, one of the American Girls Characters. :) I poured over those books (the original ones) every winter when I was younger. It might be worth trying to find my old copies this winter… What better way to spend a cold, snowy day than with a molasses cookie, a cup of tea, and Kiersten??? haha Thanks, Jenna! The images your writing brings to my mind are always so vivid! :)

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Rachel November 5, 2010 at 9:26 am

I’m pretty sure you and I would have been best friends as kids. I read and re-read the entire series over and over, I refused to wear anything that wasn’t a Laura dress, (made by my grandmother,) I wore a bonnet, cooked from the cookbook, and forced my friends to have old fashied tea parties and wear the dresses. I even tried very hard to convince my mother we didn’t need electricity at one point. I should go back and read those books again… it’s been a LONG time! The best part is when she tricks Nelly into going into the part of the water with all the leeches… totally gross, and totally bada** on the part of Laura :)

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Krystina (Basil & Wine) November 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

I love that you go from dainty little pastries and huge cookies. :P These look wonderful.

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grocery goddess jen November 5, 2010 at 9:52 am

You make everything look so simple and appealing, Jenna. I’m not sure I’d have to wear a prairie dress to enjoy these!

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helen November 5, 2010 at 9:54 am

you should make vanity cakes!!!!! i always wanted to.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 5, 2010 at 9:59 am

As a kid…I LOVED molasses cookies, gingerssnap cookies, you name it, those seasonings and blends were all me! Nothing better than a chewy, perfect molasses cookie! I dont eat them anymore b/c no one can make them like my grandma can make them and she’s not around anymore so I ought to try to veganize and GF a recipe for them….I am craving them now :)

Oh and Laura Ingalls and Little House was the go-to programming after school, right after Scooby Doo was over…hah!

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Lilac November 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

The crisp ones are nice soaked it tea or milk with honey. And I don’t think I’d describe you as “poor”. You’re very blessed with your career, skills and ability to take frequent trips. Have a nice day Jenna.

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cyndie November 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

I read the whole Little House on the Prairie series when I was in first grade. I freaking love it when you reference them! Immediately after reading the title, I recognized the reference ;)

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Clare @ Fitting It All In November 5, 2010 at 10:26 am

I was at Anthropologie yesterday and saw their line of classic books covered in beautiful patterned fabrics. I thought of you. :)

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Shayne November 5, 2010 at 10:28 am

Like Andi said in her earlier comment, I tried to make maple candy in the snow when I was a kid too! Those books were and remain inspiring. Thanks for the recipe; I’ve got it bookmarked to make in the not-so-distant future…

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The Wife of a Dairyman November 5, 2010 at 10:28 am

Love molasses! Gooey goodness:)

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Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' November 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

You must have read my mind! I was CRAVING a molasses cookie!! Ginger and Molasses cookies are my favorite at this time of the year. I prefer mine on the softer side, but I pretty much love under-baking all of my cookies. ;)

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eml November 5, 2010 at 10:38 am

I prefer a nice, soft, chewy, thick, rich molasses cookie myself too ;). But can’t go wrong with a gingersnap!

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Dee November 5, 2010 at 10:44 am

holy wow! this looks good enough to eat through my screen! ;)

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Sarah for Real November 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

Oh I love molasses cookies. I think these have a good chance at the great honor of being the first thing I bake in my newly remodeled kitchen!

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yogapol3 November 5, 2010 at 10:49 am

Love those. Love you, miss Ingalls. :) XOXO

big sis Mary

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polly November 5, 2010 at 10:53 am

Those cookies are totally Ma Ingalls worthy. :D

Love you bunches,
Mary Ingalls XOXO

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 5, 2010 at 10:55 am

These look so dense from the outside! Ohh I bet they’re fabulous.

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Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather November 5, 2010 at 11:02 am

Mmmmm I love spices and molasses mixed together. I could get down with this cookie :)

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Dawn @ Running at Dawn November 5, 2010 at 11:15 am

These look delicious! Could you also slice & bake from the chilled log instead of rolling them out? Or does rolling do something necessary to the dough?

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jenna November 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

absolutely! Either way would work really well.

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Lacey @ Lake Life November 5, 2010 at 11:25 am

Molasses is the devil :-(

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Hope November 5, 2010 at 11:31 am

Lol you crack me up girl! These look great!

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rebecca lustig November 5, 2010 at 11:47 am

there is something so comforting about simplicity! love the recipe

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Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous November 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Whew those look gooooood

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Love that these are so thin and crisp!

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Shauna November 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm

You’re not the only one, don’t worry. Fluffy white cake with vanilla frosting and fresh squeezed lemonade has always had a special place in my heart due to a certain birthday party in the Little House books!

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theTreadmilldiaries November 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I can appreciate a good Little House on the Prairie reference. It’s only one of the best television shows ever. And I’m also a fan of a good molasses cookie. Yum.

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Dani @ Dani Does It November 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm

You mean Almanzo is NOT his real name??? Lol!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I read those books ages ago but I think I only got to the 4th book. You make me want to go back and finish the series!

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Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) November 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I love that I’ve finally found someone who understands the Little House love. It makes me beyond happy to go back and read those books, reliving parts of my childhood in certain passages that are still so clear in my mind.

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Rhonda November 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm

lol! well my 17 year old daughter makes raspberry cordial…..from Anne of Green Gables, she believes she will marry her own Gilbert Blythe one day :)

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Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle November 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Holy Moly….yummmm!!!! Must try those very very soon!

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Nora@LifeLifeEatRight November 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm

mmmmm..I almost made a similar cookie the other day. Something about the cold weather and the sun setting earlier makes me crave winter spices and hearty flavors. I prefer a chewy cookie as well but these sound perfect. I’ve been loving your recipes :) so inspirational.

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Erin Robertson November 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Mm, these look great!
And do not fret about the LIW obsession, sista. I dressed up as her for a literary costume party last night. It was killer.

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Zen Tree Wellness November 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Not only do I LOVE these cookies, but I LOOOOOVE Little House!

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Laura November 7, 2010 at 4:57 am

wow, definitely took me a long time to connect where your boyfriend pseudonym was from. especially considering my namesake is Laura Ingalls Wilder… yep. my mom loved the books and TV show, and therefore named me after her and brought me up surrounded by the Little House on the Prairie booksets and reruns.

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Sarah B November 7, 2010 at 8:22 pm

God bless these cookies. Ever since you posted them I haven’t stopped thinking about them. Probably a combination between my obsession with Laura and my love for all things wintery/Christmasy.

Am I ever glad I finally made them today. And so were my dinner guests!

So THANK YOU!

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Lizzy November 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Thank you for this recipe! I made them last weekend and the fiance is in cookie heaven.

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Edna November 11, 2010 at 5:22 am

Is it sad that I thought the same thing re: Laura? Those cookies look delicious..

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Molly November 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I loved the cookies! Mine didn’t come out crispy, I was a little sad. What did I do wrong? They were still incredible. Definately making them again! I plan on cutting them with christmas shapes next time and icing them!

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marian December 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm

just made these. they were amazing. crispy and chewy at the same time – so good i said a little prayer thanking God for butter, sugar, and molasses. and your blog. rock on miss jenna!

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miranda December 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Mmmm had to make these, not just because I too still want to be Laura, but they are perfect for winter baking! What makes cookies crack on top? Mine are perfectly smooth, but I want wrinkles like yours!

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Cinnamon Owl February 26, 2011 at 6:18 am

I was reading one of your more recent blogs, United States of Cookies, and clicked on this link in the hopes the name of this cookie was referring to the Little House book. I am pleased to find out I am not the only one who revisits the Wilder family every few years! And I agree, I can totally see these stuffed into Laura’s pocket. I am going to have to try them!

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Erin June 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Have you read The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure? I am reading it right now and it made me think of your Little House references. I think you would enjoy it!

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Emily September 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I’ve just come across your blog through pinterest. You have so much beautiful food photography and I can’t wait to try these molasses cookies. I love baking and I’ve got all these new things to try out. But I had to comment because, well, listen – I also read Laura Ingalls Wilder books every few years. Gotta say, ‘Farmer Boy’ is one of my personal faves hahaha. Just giving you my respect – you had to know that there are others like you out there. lol!

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