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Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies


When Starbucks first came out with these, Alex would always pick one up whenever we stopped in. Slowly, from having lukewarm feelings towards them, I became a fan of the spicy and sweet flavour. I’ve always wanted to find a recipe that mimics just this cookie, and so entered Barefoot Contessa at Home.

Since Barefoot Contessa has baking mixes as well, I actually first tried this cookie via her box mix, and loved it so much that I searched for it in my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. Surely enough, there was the recipe in Barefoot Contessa at Home, and I made it immediately.

The recipe sucks.

After having seen how runny/sticky the batter from the mix turned out, I was dismayed to find actual decent-solid-like cookie dough in my mixing bowl. From there, it was a downhill experiment where I forgot to add baking soda to the second batch, and the third batch’s consistency was even further from my expectations that I couldn’t even muster up the energy to roll the cookies in sugar before baking.

That was all last year. This year, I decided that the problem must lie within the proportion of the ingredients in the recipe – and I boiled it down to the fact that everything was in cup measures. Out of curiosity, I weighed my cup of flour and discovered that today, a cup weighed 6 oz. in my apartment! (On a dry summer’s day, it’s about 4.5 oz. using the exact same cup.) So after some fine-tuning (hello, first-batch ginger rocks in garbage can), here’s the recipe:

Ginger Molasses Cookies – adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

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  • 8 oz. dark brown sugar
  • 2.5 oz. canola oil
  • 3.5 oz. molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 10 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • roughly 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • granulated sugar, for rolling cookies in
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a stand mixer, mix together on medium speed, the sugar, oil, molasses, spices, and salt for about 5 minutes. You shouldn’t have to scrape the bowl too much, but do as necessary.
  3. Add in egg and mix on medium speed for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in flour and baking soda, and mix on medium speed to incorporate all the flour. Add the chopped ginger and mix until combined.
  5. Roll the dough into about 1″ balls, and drop into sugar. Flatten on the cookie sheet.
  6. Put into preheated oven for 10 minutes. Depending on oven temperature etc., it should be ready at about the 13 minute mark. In my convection oven I left them for only 10.5 minutes and they turned out perfectly.
  7. Cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely. Makes 32 regular-sized cookies, or 16 jumbo Starbucks-sized ones.

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  • The dough dries out and “seals” itself easily, so my second batch, which was rolled and then sat on the counter for 10 minutes waiting for the first batch to bake, didn’t crack as much. Pictures here are of the first batch.
  • When you remove the cookies from the oven, they should still be puffed up. That’s fine, during the three-minute cooling period, they’ll flatten and start to look like what you want them to look like.

Now go and make them! They taste just like the wonderful things from Starbucks!

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • VancityAllie Tuesday 22 December 2009, 19:11

    Mmmm those look delicious!

    The first time I ever had a cookie like that was at Whole Foods. I LOVED them. They look very similar and from what I imagine, taste similar too?

    Would love to try the recipe! Thanks :)

    P.S. Yes, having a scale is AWESOME.

  • mango Tuesday 22 December 2009, 20:52

    Allie – the best part about having a scale in this recipe is that you avoid the sticky cups from measuring out molasses! I was so happy to avoid that with a scale. Let me know how it works out for you!!

  • Amy Patel Wednesday 23 December 2009, 10:26

    These were amazing! Thanks for sharing :)
    p.s. currently having a cupcake right now that you made which is to die for. Presentation is impeccable.

  • shanna Tuesday 18 May 2010, 21:46

    ok so i tried these because im obsessed with the starbuck ones, however mine are very ‘spicy’ and not very sweet, now this maybe a stupid question but is there a difference between cooking molasses and just molasses like the recipe calls for? And my batter was super sticky and hard to work with, should i add more flour? Oh and one more thing when you add the sugar is it just to the top? thanks for the recipe and the help, i feel like im close to making them great but just need a little assistance! thanks

    • mango Tuesday 18 May 2010, 23:19

      Hi Shanna, the spices in the cookie recipe can be reduced if you find any taste too overpowering – cloves tend to be strong so you might want to reduce the quantity there. I used molasses from the grocery store in the baking aisle…it is fancy molasses, which tends to be sweeter and lighter, and it’s different from cooking or blackstrap molasses. Everything in the recipe was done by weight, including the oil and molasses. The final dough was on the stickier side – i.e. I had to wash my hands a couple of times while rolling the dough. Lastly, I drop the rolled balls into granulated sugar, then put them on the baking pan and flatten. Hope this helps!

      • shanna Wednesday 19 May 2010, 21:09

        thank you for the quick reply i will re-try with the other molasses tomorrow and maybe reduce the cloves, thanks again. I’ll post an update after my next attempt!

  • shanna Sunday 6 June 2010, 18:08

    Just made them again and thier great! Used the proper molasses and less crystalized ginger, thanks for the great recipe!

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