Servings: 24-30 serving(s)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 28 minutes
My husband’s Aunt Marcia is a true old fashioned baker. She goes by feel when it comes to cooking and her hands and a tea cup are her measuring implements. And she always gets it just right.
She used to fry her famous doughnuts in an open pot, without a thermometer. Instead she’d lean her face over the shimmering vat of oil to feel the steam against her cheek and that’s how she’d judge if the temperature was right for frying.
When we’d visit she’d load our car with her homemade treats: chokecherry wine, pickled watermelon rind, candied pumpkin, homemade doughnuts, date-filled oatmeal cookies and her comforting soft molasses cookies. Visit after visit these molasses cookies sustained us during the long drive home from Northern New Brunswick.
I have her son Leonard to thank for the written recipe. He spent a lifetime watching Aunt Marcia make these cookies so figured out the quantities and wrote them down.
The beauty of a cookie like this is that they’re a not-too-sweet treat and are as good with a slice of cheese or dab of peanut butter as they are on their own. The cookies are soft, but not in a cake-like way so travel well too.
Here I have made a thumbprint version of Aunt Marcia’s molasses cookies.
Soft Molasses Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
Makes 2 ½ to 3 dozen.
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- ¼ cup strong tea with 1 ½ tsp. baking soda (can use hot water)
- 1 ½ tsp. ginger
- ½ tsp. cream of tartar (or 1 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice)*
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 ½ – 3 cups flour (plus more for rolling out)
- Jam (optional)
*If using vinegar or lemon juice in place of cream of tartar, add it with the molasses mixture.
- In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add molasses and tea mixture and beat until well combined.
- In another bowl combine the ginger, cream of tartar and flour (start with 2 ½ cups). Add dry to wet ingredients and mix well.
- Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gently knead in additional four until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Roll out ¼” thick and cut into rounds.
- With your thumb press a gentle dent in the top of the cookie and fill with ½ tsp. of jam.
- Bake at 350 F on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10-14 minutes.
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