Sunday, December 21, 2014

Grandpa's Molasses Cookies

Over the years this has proven to be our favorite molasses cookie recipe. The original, and rightful name of this recipe was "Kirsten's Ginger Cookies". As youngsters my sisters and I loved to prepare recipes from our "American Girl" cookbooks. My sister Hannah's doll was Kirsten, and Hannah would often bake her "Ginger Cookies".

In more recent years my mother took over the baking of this hearty, old-fashioned pioneer cookie. After the passing of my grandma in 2012 (she was a great baker and cook) the responsibility of  fulfilling my grandpa's cookie cravings fell to my mom, with some help from me. He is a self proclaimed cookie monster! And I take that claim quite seriously now that I have personally witnessed how many cookies he can eat in a week.

Well, when my mom began providing him with these molasses cookies grandpa was thrilled. After suffering an illness this summer and recovering, grandpa did not have much of an appetite for anything but mom's molasses cookies. He now claims that these cookies sustained his life! : ) Hence the reason we now call them "Grandpa's Molasses Cookies".

Grandpa's Molasses Cookies:

6 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups molasses
2/3 cup cold water

Directions: Sift flour baking soda, salt, allspice, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. In another bowl mix coconut oil ( I generally melt the oil first, as it makes it easier to combine), sugar, molasses and water. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture. Chill dough for 1-2 hours. Cut out 1/2" rolled dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

My mom made some changes from the original recipe. Instead of using lard or shortening we use coconut oil, making for a healthier and moister cookie. We also like to add a little more water too... so rather than 2/3 cup you may like to try 3/4 cup. But it is up to the individual if they prefer a drier or moister cookie.

As a side note, grandpa found that even his cat Jasper enjoys these cookies.But of course, he is an unusual cat.

This year I am not baking my traditional variety of cookies, as I am hoping to keep to a healthier selection. These cookies lend themselves well to Christmas baking since they can be cut into fun shapes, and the spices are very festive in flavor.


  1. Your cookies look tasty! And I must say that I have a husband who is also a cookie monster! :) Finding healthier recipes has been my goal as well!

  2. They look delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. Mmmm... I haven't had molasses cookies in ages and yours are making my mouth water! Maybe I will whip up a batch tomorrow :) Thank you for sharing, sweet friend, and have a very Merry Christmas! Hugs to you!

  4. Dear Sarah ... thank you for sharing. Wishing you and your dear family a very Merry Christmas. Warmest Blessings ♥ Teri

  5. Mmm those look yummy! Kirsten is my favorite American Girl too! I still use some recipes from her cookbook. (Swedish meatballs & Swedish potatoes.) I love your cobalt blue jar on the counter and your enamelware cookie sheet. Where did you get them? :D
    Have a very Happy Christmas!
    Michelle ^_^

    1. Hi Michelle,

      We never made Kirsten's Swedish Meatballs or potatoes, but I will have to give them a try. : )

      I found the blue cookie jar at a little Mennonite shop in our area a few years back. They had a set with a butter dish and salt and pepper shakers.

      The enamelware cookie sheet came from Lehman's: it looks like they may only have brown now. It was a birthday gift from my mom, and the best cookie sheet I have ever used.


  6. How delicious! Molasses cookies are scrumptious and your recipe looks and sounds so wonderful! I love reading through recipes like yours and thinking of how amazing everything sounds as I picture it being mixed together. I would love to try to make these and reading that this is a Kirsten recipe makes my heart feel automatically tied to it- she is my favorite American girl and I was able to check out one of her cookbooks from the library a couple years back and had so much fun making the apple sauce recipe in there :) It made me smile to read of you and your sister enjoying your American Girl cookbooks.

    It is so loving that you and your Mom continue on your Grandma's sweet gesture of making cookies for your dear Grandpa. That's so wonderful that he can still enjoy them that way.
    Thank you for sharing this mouth-watering recipe. Enjoy the sweets and wonderful baking of the season, Sarah, and I hope you have a most blessed and precious time with your family this holiday and start to the new year!!

    Hugs to you,

  7. Nice to meet you in the blog neighborhood.
    Your grandmother's molasses cookies sound very good - partly because I'm a grandmother and partly because my family has always liked ginger snaps. I appreciate the use of coconut oil as we try to use it where we can. What a kind gesture to make them for your Grandpa. At your mention of Jasper liking Grandpa's cookies it brought back a memory. When we had cats my husband would mix their hair-ball medicine in some molasses. Then they would eagerly proceed to lick it off his finger when offered. I guess the spoonful-of-sugar-trick works for cats, too - only in this case it's molasses.
    My daughter's doll is Felicity (given at a Christmas in the 1990s).
    Karen A.

  8. Some of my favourite cookies. Reminds me of my grandmother and the wonderful molasses cookies she made.

  9. Oh my! I can almost taste them just looking at the photo. I am going to pin these on my cookie board, and hopefully, one of these days, I'll give them a try. I'm not sure I have that much molasses on hand.
    God bless you dear lady!
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  10. Yes, we too make this gingerbread cookie recipe through out the year. I cut recipe in half as we have a smaller family (half recipe=30 cookies using a two- 2.5 inch cutter) ). Dough freezes well in parchment than foil .You can slice and bake a log roll of dough. I use crisco solid instead of cocoanut and add sprinkle of colored sugar on top. Recipe much easier than my mother in laws gingerbread cookie recipe that you have to cook on the stove first. I make the dough and freeze it till ready to cut out cookies. From a Texas Nana
    Full recipe take a 12 ounce jar of grandmas molasses. If you find a 24 ounce jar that is two full batches

    1. I like the idea of adding colorful sprinkles. I will have to keep that in mind next time I make a batch.