Food/ Great Gifts/ Holidays

The Best Molasses Cookies Ever

The Best Molasses cookies, Tamara Central

I edited my first cookbook when I was a teenager, which is not unusual, if you know my family. One evening, after a most divine meal, my large extended family was sitting around the table, talking about their favorite foods, made by family.

“Berta’s Cinnamon Rolls!”

“Annie’s Flank Steak!”

“Carol’s Mud Pie!”

Someone threw out the idea of compiling those “greats” — and there were a lot of them — into one book, and silly me… I volunteered to create that book. It’s still a go-to for some of my most favorite recipes of all time. One classic is my grandmother’s molasses cookies.

My best friend did the cover art. Turtles are our family mascot.

These cookies can be chewy or crunchy — you choose– they’re spicy, satisfying, great with milk or tea. They also are hardy enough to be wrapped and sent through the mail. In fact, I sent several batches out for gifts last Christmas. They are a perfect autumn cookie… or for whenever. I can’t recommend them enough.

Side note: I recently went to buy molasses after my local store had moved everything around, I asked a young clerk where to find molasses. “Molasses?” she said, “what’s that?” I was dumfounded… and didn’t know how to respond. “Um… it’s… molasses,” I stupidly said. Another customer who overheard our exchange finally sent me in the right direction.

To form the cookies, I use a small size #50 scoop, which is 1½” in diameter, and has a capacity of about 3½ Tablespoons. You can also just use spoons or roll between your palms to shape the cookie balls.

Grammie's Molasses Cookies

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
dessert, cookies
By Tamara Berg Serves: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

If you like them crispy, cook them longer, if you like 'em chewy, shorter. My cookies come out about 3" in diameter. You can make them a bit smaller or larger, if you like.


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar + more for flattening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt



Preheat oven to 350°.


Beat together shortening, sugar, egg and molasses until smooth and fully combined. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix.


Form into small balls, using your hands or a small ice cream scoop. Place at least 2" apart on parchment lined cookie sheet.


Dip the flat bottom of a drinking glass in a plate of granulated sugar, and press cookie balls flat. Dip glass in sugar after each cookie.


Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on size of cookie and desired crispness.


If you like them crispy, cook them longer, if you like 'em chewy, shorter. My cookies come out about 3" in diameter. You can make them a bit smaller or larger, if you like.

Recipe from the original family cookbook.

My copy of the family cookbook has lost its original cover, has dog-eared and food splattered pages, and I use it nearly every week. This was the first edition of our family’s cookbooks. A second, more extensive edition was published by my cousin much more recently. That one is just as well-loved.

Make these cookies. Enjoy them, share them. Add them to your family favorites. You’ll be glad you did.

The Best Molasses Cookies - Tamara Central

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  • Reply
    October 13, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Austin’s favorite! Mom has a glass with a starburst design on the bottom–it makes a lovely pattern on the top of the cookies–yum!

    • Reply
      Tamara Berg
      October 13, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      YES!! We had one of those glasses too… guess Marcia has that one. Gotta get me one! Hello to Austin, and hugs to you all!! xo

  • Reply
    Patty Nielsen
    October 13, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Wonderful post Tamara! I still use that cookbook, especially the cookie recipes! Grammie’s Kum ka ka is made every Christmas. Our family loves good food that’s for sure!

    • Reply
      Tamara Berg
      October 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm

      Aw, I’m with you! So many happy memories tied to food and our sweet family. Love you, cousin!! xoxoxo

  • Reply
    October 13, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    These don’t get rolled into granulated sugar before baking?
    I’ll never forget attending one of your families cookie baking events during the holidays. Such a blast. And my fav wedding gift was your cookie jar filled with your precious family cookie recipes. I still have them to this day.

    Thanks for sharing your happy memories


  • Reply
    Kaye Heller
    January 18, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    I can’t be the only person to want to buy a copy of your family cookbook, can I? I bet you’ve got some great recipes that will bring lots of joy to the table!

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