This recipe for Soft Crinkle-Top Ginger Molasses Cookies is my favorite not just because of the flavor and texture, but because of the food memories and family tradition. I make these every fall and holiday season, without fail. My boys especially love these with memories of rolling the cookie dough in sugar when they were little.
A soft texture and chewy texture.
Using mostly brown sugar (3/4 C brown sugar to 1/4 C white sugar) really amps up the chew factor. And these will stay chewy and soft even days after baking. Just bag them or put them in a cookie container. To ensure a soft cookie, you can add a small piece of bread (less than half a slice) to the bag and that will keep cookies soft.
Molasses is fantastic in a cookie.
And also in cakes! I buy a few jars per year and it lasts forever on the shelf. It will find its way into cookies, cakes, and barbeque sauces. If you're baking outside of the US, you'll want to find treacle - it's a good substitute. Don't be tempted to use Golden Syrup - it's the right consistency but doesn't have the flavor of molasses for these signature cookies.
Ginger and warm spices
All my favorite warm spices are in this cookie recipe. Ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. I also add cardamom but if you don't have it then you can leave it out. As always, you can increase the spices per your taste. Sometimes I even add a small pinch of black pepper if I'm making a batch for my mom. She likes the extra spicy bite in a ginger cookie.
Tips for creating the crinkle-top.
How about some baking science! I'm about the least scientific person you'll ever meet but having a few tricks up your sleeve for these ginger molasses cookies will help ensure a good crinkle top.
How To Create A Crinkle-Top On Cookies
- High Oven Temp.
You'll notice the oven temperature for this recipe is a little higher most cookie recipes. A hot 375F will help the cookie rise quickly with the heat, then "set" on the exterior as it bakes. It will then crack as it finishes baking and cools.
- Rolling the cookie dough ball in sugar.
Make sure to roll the raw cookie balls into granulated sugar before baking. I'll even roll it a 2nd time if it looks like I didn't get a good enough coating. When the sugar hits the heat, it crystallizes, also helping with the crinkling process.
- Cold dough hot oven.
Fully chilled dough will definitely help create a crinkle-top and will help reduce cookie spread. I'll bake one sheet of cookies at a time, on the center rack of the oven, or even one notch above center.
- Think about the flour.
A good crinkle-top comes from a cookie dough that has enough body and substance to it. Try increasing your flour measurements by 1-2 tablespoons if your dough seems loose.
- Fresh baking soda/powder.
The leavener you're using needs to be active and fresh. Check the expiration date.
If you're in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, you might like DoubleTree Signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.
Baking cookies at elevation?
If you bake at elevation as I do, you might bookmark this site. It's really helpful! CSU Extension Baking At Elevation.
Soft Crinkle Top Ginger Molasses Cookies Recipe
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 3/4 cup butter 1 and a half sticks, softened
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg large, see notes below
- 1/4 cup molasses
Sugar to roll cookie dough
- Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Set aside until needed.
- Cream butter and sugars until light. Add egg (see note below) and molasses. Beat 1 minute until thoroughly mixed.
- Add dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until combined.
- Chill the dough for at least an hour. Cold dough will help with ensuring the crinkle-top surface.
Baking - Preheat oven to 375f.
- Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in granulated sugar, being sure there is a solid coating. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes. Monitor at the 5-minute mark and keep your eye on the oven to pull them once the edges are set and the centers are just starting to fall.