Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies

Servings: 20 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Take me to the recipe

These soft molasses cookies are along the lines of the lovable Bear Paws cookies. 

Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies

I’m not sure if it’s the cake-like softness of Bear Paws that draws me to these cookies or the cute name.

Whatever it is they’re irresistible. No matter who is in the house, young or old, these cookies go flying off the counter when I bake them. Even during all of my testing the early versions got devoured.

These are definitely good lunchbox and after school snack cookies.

I am typically not one for fiddly cookies but I made an exception for these because I wanted them to have cute toes. Even though they take a little bit to assemble – middle and four toes – the process went quickly once I created the first few. They’ll look shaggy when you put them together but the edges will soften as they bake.

Sure they’re not smooth on top like the store-bought version but I was going for texture as I worked with this recipe. In the end we all agreed that they really resemble puppy paws.

Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies
If you’re not in assembly mode you could always roll the dough and use a hand-shaped cookie cutter to create these. Maybe there are paw-shaped cookie cutters out there too.

Whichever method you choose to shape these cookies, they’ll be delicious. The gentle spicing is wonderful and the texture is just so perfect.

Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies

Reader tip: Easy way to shape your paws

“We were looking for an alternative to store bought bear paw cookies for school lunches. These turned out great. The dough is very soft, so we rolled about 2/3 of it into a log and chilled for half an hour. We rolled the remaining dough in thinner logs (less than 1 inch diameter) and chilled those also. Then we sliced discs from the logs and arranged into the palm and fingers. They turned out wonderfully and tasted even better. We quadrupled the ginger and cinnamon because we like them spicy. Thanks for the recipe, I can tell we will be making these again.”

Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookie Recipe

Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 cups flour, spooned in (can use half whole grain)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line cookie  sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat in molasses and egg.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, spices, and salt.
  4. Combine the hot water and baking soda in a little cup. Pour into the butter mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and stir until incorporated.

To make the paws:

  1. Using a medium cookie scoop or a tablespoon, make the middle of the paws and then use a teaspoon measure to make four toes. This will be a little messy but will get easier once you have done a few.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

One more thing…

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12 thoughts on “Bear Paws | Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies

  1. Avtar says:

    This recipe does not work. The cookies melted in the oven and turned into a Pinterest fail. I followed the recipe exact and baked for 10 minutes. I did not touch them for atleast 2 minutes after removing from the oven because they were too soft. They taste ok but look nothing like as posted on the recipe. If anyone knows what could have possibly went wrong or had similar results please do let me know!

    1. Hi there, I just want to double check that you used our fancy molasses, not cooking molasses for the recipe.

  2. J says:

    This recipe does work!
    I almost did not try the recipe because of the previous comment. I’m glad I gave them a shot. They are tasty & look exactly like the photos. Would definitely recommend.

  3. Me says:

    Bearhugably delicious ! Couldn’t keep my paws off of them.
    Absolutely will make again. The cooking time was more 8 minutes than 10.

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      I’m am happy that you found them so good. Don’t wait too long to make them again, keep those paws happy.

  4. Taryn says:

    worked for me. kids loved them. yummy

    1. Lynn Purdy says:

      Taryn,
      That’s great. Kid tested, kid approved.

  5. Vicki Mathiesen says:

    Can I adapt this recipe to Persimmon cookies with walnuts. I have been looking for a chewy soft Persimmon cookie recipe.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Vicki, I have never tasted a persimmon cookie so can’t provide much guidance. Sorry. Now I much search out a recipe!

  6. Red Fern says:

    We were looking for an alternative to store bought bear paw cookies for school lunches. These turned out great. The dough is very soft, so we rolled about 2/3 of it into a log and chilled for half an hour. We rolled the remaining dough in thinner logs (less than 1 inch diameter) and chilled those also. Then we sliced discs from the logs and arranged into the palm and fingers. They turned out wonderfully and tasted even better. We quadrupled the ginger and cinnamon because we like them spicy. Thanks for the recipe, I can tell we will be making these again.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi there, Thanks for your shaping suggestions. So much easier and more uniform than my way. I’ll update the recipe with your spicing suggestion.

  7. Denise Charron says:

    Hi Bridget,
    I just love molasses cookies but not really interested in making bear paws. Can I just roll the dough, and if so, to what thickness? Or, could I just roll the dough, chill it and then just slice it? (I will try the recipe using gluten-free flour). Thank you Bridget.

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