Chewy Molasses Cookies

Chewy Molasses Cookies

I think this may be the last year Santa comes for Esme. No, no, we’re not going to stop putting “love Santa” tags on her gifts, don’t worry! I’m sure she’ll happily play along for her brother’s sake (and to keep getting the “love Santa” presents) for a few more years.  But she’s starting to circle around the logistics of the whole business and we’re hearing the foundations creak just a little. “If we put the Christmas tree in a different spot this year, would Santa know where to find it?” Of course! Santa is magic. “And what if we went somewhere else for Christmas?” No problem, Santa would know. But more than improbability of his getting around the world in one night with enough presents for everyone in a single sled, she’s starting to wonder why Santa doesn’t make it fair. Why does she get so much and some kids get so little? Oy.  I love Christmas in rather a childish way myself but even I don’t like the crap I have to say to make that seem right. Did you read my dear, brilliant friend Leah McLaren’s column this week on her ambivalence about Christmas since having kids? If any of you have a clever way to handle the Santa question, I’d love to hear about it!

Until the big man leaves our girl we’d better leave him a really good snack for Christmas eve. I’m thinking these crunchy, chewy Molasses Cookies. Laura got the recipe from this month’s Bon Appetit magazine – have you seen it? The cookie spread is a thing of beauty and so are these cookies. I believe Santa’s going to love them…


photo by Maya Visnyei

Chewy Molasses Cookies


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinammon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 light or dark molasses (dark has a stronger flavour)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • sanding or raw sugar


Set the racks in your oven in the top and lower thirds of the oven.

Preheat the temperature to 375 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

In another bowl, blend butter, regular sugar, brown sugar and molasses.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet until it all just comes together.

Place the dough in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm things up.

 Place the raw or sanding sugar in a shallow blow.

Using a tablespoon, scoop dough and roll it into balls. Roll those balls around in the sugar and then place on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

 Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, about 8 to 10 minutes.

The cookies should puffed and just set around the edges.

Transfer to a wire rack to let them cool completely.

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1 Comment

  1. Jan
    January 23, 21:20 Reply

    I love the recipes SPC and your cookbook provide! They have changed my life…and my families…so much for the better. I just saw this recipe, and despite Christmas done for the time being, I am going to give it a try. The stories and photos you and Laura provide are wonderful. I especially love hearing about your beautiful kids and seeing the lovely photos of them. I understand the Santa stress. My son was particularly down one Christmas and I expected it was the “Santa” issue. I try never to lie to my kids so telling about Santa was a big stressor for me. When my son showed signs of sadness, I approached him with “are you feeling sad”… a nod…..”is it about Santa”… another gut wrenching nod….I smiled and said….”you can believe whatever you want about Santa, it is not important whether you believe in Santa, but whether you believe in the spirit of Santa….imagine how much joy and love Santa has brought to millions of children and adults alike, and how many millions more people have become more charitable to help someone out who is less fortunate…so no matter what you believe…just remember that Santa represents the spirit of giving and love and kindness and that is most important”. The sadness seemed to fade and Christmas was good. Still makes me sad though to know that part of him is no longer. Ahh how they grow up so fast. Good luck with Esme. She is so cute. P.S. I still put love Santa on my son’s gifts and he is 13. He quietly smiles and opens then says thanks Santa.

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