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Soft and spiced, these Chocolate Ginger Molasses Tea Cookies are fabulous additions to holiday cookie tins and just for plain old dunking!
With Great Appreciation, This Recipe Recreated from One of My Favorite Cookbooks, Baking Day with Anna Olson
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Chocolate Ginger Molasses Tea Cookies
Molasses makes baked goods moist. Not necessarily sweet on its own, molasses needs a sweet partner to achieve flavor in a baked good. Often, you’ll see molasses paired in an ingredient list just before or after granulated or brown sugar or both. The moisture molasses yields coupled with its gorgeous dark caramel color makes it a necessary addition to some recipes. Molasses is a fabulous addition to cookies, cakes, and breads alike.
Butter, brown and granulated sugars, molasses, FRESH ginger, chocolate, pecans and cinnamon bake up into THE BEST little cookie you never knew you needed in your life.
I love a molasses cookie. Ginger snaps are generally the dough made when I am using molasses in cookies, but today I went way out of the lines with this one.
The nuts and the chocolate chips may be omitted altogether if you’re not favoring them. Personally, I feel like they add another attribute to the texture that wouldn’t otherwise be there. The crumb is tender, chewy, and mildly spiced with warm cinnamon and both fresh and ground ginger.
How This Recipe Came About…
Somehow, I have three BIG jars of molasses. I have no idea how or why, but I do. But it was time to come up with a reason to put at least one of those jars to good use.
I do feature a beautiful homemade Molasses Barbecue Sauce on Not Entirely Average that is wildly popular, and fabulously delicious. Problem is, we’ve been moving out of grilling season and into cooking indoors these last few weeks.
Experimenting with a ginger and molasses cookie recipe I’ve had for eons seemed like the right step for putting a good first dent in my abundant molasses supply. I was channeling something in between traditional tea cakes and a batch of gooey butter cookies when this recipe from Anna Olson’s book Baking Day With Anna Olson popped up.
Do You Have What’s Needed To Make These Chewy Molasses Tea Cookies? Check The List!
light brown sugar
a large egg
all purpose flour
dark chocolate mini morsels
How To Make Chocolate Ginger Molasses Tea Cookies?
You’ll need two or three cookie sheets (depending on their size) and parchment paper for this cookie for the best result. You absolutely can use baking spray in lieu of the parchment, but I find having the cookies bake directly on the sheets increases the crispiness of the edges, something I do not advocate in this method.
I’m sure to melt the butter enough in advance to allow it to cool slightly before adding it to my sugars and molasses. An egg is whisked in at just about this time, and hot butter will only scramble the egg. Also not a step I would advocate in this method.
Take the time to grate a knob of ginger fresh. I’ve used ginger paste in previous batches, but NOTHING tastes like the fresh grated ginger in these cookies, trust me.
You’ll also be adding a teaspoon of ground ginger to this cookie batter. Combined with cinnamon, this little extra embodies those true old fashioned spice cookies we remember growing up with.
The surprise ingredients in these tea time cookies are cocoa powder and chocolate mini morsels. The best tea cookies always have something interesting thrown in and hey, why not?
You’ll need only a whisk and a large mixing bowl to get this job done. I also recommend a shallow pie pan or bowl for rolling the cookie balls in granulated sugar before setting into position on the baking sheets.
In less than a hot Southern minute, you’ll have a mess of cookies for a tea party, or to top off those holiday cookie tins. I go straight in with a tall glass of milk and right to dunking…
What Can I Substitute For The Pecans In This Recipe?
You may substitute any nut really. In particular, I feel like walnuts and pecans compliment this textured cookie best, but macadamias and pignolis would also be very nice.
Can The Molasses Be Omitted?
No. Not in the method with the measures I’ve specified. It’s honestly easier to look for a spice cookie recipe without molasses than it would be to try to modify this recipe as I’ve specified it.
Really, the whole point of this recipe is to celebrate the building of a good quality bake around molasses, an ingredient seldom found in everyday cooking anymore. I hope that those who do try this recipe will embrace it for what it is, an easy cookie recipe that yields about thirty cookies in about twenty-five minutes time.
How Long Do These Tea Cookies Take To Make?
Each batch of cookies bakes for anywhere between 10 and 12 minutes. That said, and depending on the size of your baking sheets, I am able to arrange fifteen cookies on each cookie sheet to get the bake successfully completed in 20 to 25 minutes.
Have a look at your baking sheets. These cookies are SPREADERS. Meaning, they spread out as they bake, so it’s important to space them adequately apart. Like 2-inches apart. This will help you to gauge how many cookie balls you can fit on each sheet.
To know when the batch is baked correctly, the cookies should appear crinkled on their tops, and feel set when gently pressed on their edges. Allowing them to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before handling ensures they will not crumble.
What’s The Best Way To Store These Tea Cookies?
Stored in tins at room temperature, these old fashioned tea cookies will last for three to five days. That is, if you can keep them around that long.
Can The Cookie Dough Be Made Ahead?
This cookie dough may be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. At that point, it must be baked.
Freezing the dough balls raw is also possible and will keep frozen up to 3 months. Use parchment to separate the layers. Thaw on the countertop in the containers for several hours and bake as instructed.
Can These Tea Cookies Be Frozen?
This easy tea cookie recipe may be baked, cooled, and frozen in airtight lidded containers for up to three months.
I try to lay them flat and use parchment to separate the layers.
They are just as wonderful thawed from frozen as they are baked and enjoyed immediately. Just thaw on the countertop in the containers for several hours.
Chocolate Ginger Molasses Tea Cookies
- baking sheets
- wire cooling rack
- parchment paper
- medium sized sauce pan
- microplane / zester
- ¾ cup unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- ⅓ cup brown sugar packed; light or dark
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar plus additional for rolling cookies
- ⅓ cup molasses
- 1 ½ tablespoons ginger fresh, finely grated
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate mini m orsels
- ½ cup pecans chopped into small pieces
- Whisk the melted butter, brown and granulated sugars, and molasses in a large bowl. Add the freshly grated ginger and the egg and whisk in until very well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and salt and add these dry ingredients all at once to the molasses mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir until evenly combined (the mixture will be quite soft). Stir in the chocolate mini morsels and finely chopped pecans. Cover and chill the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking trays with parchment paper. If your parchment rolls up on you instead of laying flat, crumple it up once or twice, then flatten out. The parchment will now stay in place on the cookie sheet(s).
- Portion 1 tablespoonful of cookie dough and shape into a ball. Roll in the granulated sugar to coat. Arrange the cookies on the baking trays, leaving 2 inches between them. Do not press the cookies flat. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until they crackle and feel set at the edges when gently pressed with a spatula.
- Let the cookies cool on the trays on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before lifting them from the tray to the rack to cool completely. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.