baked goods · Recipes

Nana Josie’s Soft Molasses Cookies

Nothing says Christmas like a soft, ginger and spice, molasses cookie.

Nana Josie’s Soft Molasses Cookies

Yield: approx. 24 cookies



  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp crème of tartar
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 4 ½ c flour

*Allow ingredients to reach room temperature (including egg).

In a stand mixer or hand mixer cream shortening, add sugar and mix until combined. Add the egg and molasses and mix again until combined.

In a small bowl, combine the hot water, crème of tarter, and baking soda. Add the mixture to the shortening along with the remaining spices.

Add in the flour in two portions and mix by hand until dough is formed.

Chill for at least 6 hours

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Roll out the dough to ½ an inch and use a round cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will spread a little so don’t over crowd the sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until nicely brown.

Nanas are notoriously good bakers, and my Nanas are no exception! I spent so many weekends with at my Nana Josies’s house watching her in the kitchen. It wasn’t until recent years that I’ve actually been able to recreated her classically delicious dishes. While she was still alive I, unfortunately, wasn’t much use in the kitchen. I would just sit at the kitchen table and eat chocolate chips out of a measuring cup and occasionally stick them up my nose. Yeah… 

Tips for Cooking: Do not over mix this dough. If you want thick cookies the dough must be firm and chilled enough to not spread/flatten while baking. Also don’t roll them thin. They won’t puff a crazy amount so if you roll them thin, they will be thin.

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