Monday, November 29, 2010

Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar

With the holidays approaching, I'm sure all the bakers out there are preparing their lists for holiday baking (some die-hards have probably started baking already).  I'd wager that if you are baking for the holidays, there has got to be some kind of gingerbread/molasses/spice concoction on your list.  It's a holiday classic.  But how about stepping those up a notch...adding even more seasonal holiday flavour!?  These simple molasses spice cookies become extraordinary with the addition of a sparkling, crunchy, orange infused sugar topping.  The orange flavour compliments the spice cookies perfectly, and the glistening sugar topping elevates these cookies to holiday cookie platter star.  I love a good twist on an old classic.

Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar
Origin: The Kitchn

Notes:  You can use a faithful gingerbread or spice cookie that you love and just try the topping.  It's so easy and it makes them really special.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, zested
1/3 cup turbinado sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, mixing just to combine. Stir in the molasses and vanilla extract.

Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture, until just combined.

Separate the dough into 2 portions (it should be quite sticky) and place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, stir together orange zest and turbinado sugar.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove dough from fridge.  Working in batches, cut out cookies into desired shapes.   I found the dough softened so quickly that I couldn't transfer the cutouts to the baking sheet without smooshing them.  I placed my rolled dough with plastic wrap onto a large cutting board and then cut out my shapes.  I transferred the whole cutting board to the freezer for a couple of minutes to let the shapes firm up again.  When firm, they easily pulled away from the dough scraps to transfer to the baking sheet.  Keep unused dough chilled.

Sprinkle with orange sugar topping.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are firm around the edges and set in the middle.  Cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


  1. Looks divine, and can't wait to try them, but Jonny hasn't filled me in on what 'turbinado sugar' is and where I might get it, locally. Figured I'd to straight to the source to get an answer. Please?!

  2. Hey Cheryl! Turbinado sugar is like "raw" sugar, the kind you find in coffee shops. I found mine at a Loblaws, made by Redpath. It has a brown colour and the granules are large. The sugar holds its shape and crunch when you bake it on these cookies. They are yummy! And a little escape from the usual.