Retro Recipe - Molasses Cookies

It's that time of year when you start baking for the Christmas holidays. Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings have things in them I'd NEVER buy any other time of the year. Things like molasses, better known as dark treacle here in Britain.

The recipe will call for one tablespoon of dark treacle and then you have a great tin full of the stuff left over.   In my case, due to an error in purchasing, I have two tins of dark treacle in the cupboard!  Then I remembered the soft molasses cookies we used to have when I was a kid and could see a way to use up some of the excess molasses.

This is an old recipe.  It came from my Mom's old Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book.  The cook book says the original recipe comes from a farm in Minnesota. They taste like gingerbread cake, soft and spicy.  Here's the recipe just as it's written in Mom's book:

Mix together thoroughly .........  1/4 cup soft butter
                                              1/2 cup sugar
                                              1 egg
                                              1/2 cup molasses (dark treacle)

Stir in..........  1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water

Sift together and stir in..............2 cups plain flour
                                              1/2 teaspoon salt
                                              1 teaspoon ground ginger
                                              1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
                                              1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
                                              1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

The recipe continues in it's abrupt style.....

Chill dough. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls about 2" apart on lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake until set.... just until, when touched lightly with finger, almost no imprint remains.  

Temperature: 400F/200C
Time: 7 to 8 minutes.  

While the cookies are slightly warm, frost with a simple icing made from 1 cup icing sugar mixed with enough milk to make the frosting easy to spread.

Thanks to Mildred Bennett from Minnesota, I now have a tin full of spicy molasses cookies and one empty black treacle tin.  One down, one to go!


  1. I love Betty Crocker! I bought the big red book years ago and it has all the dishes I grew up with. My mom hated cooking so stuck to what was easy. These cookies look yummy! I'm getting into the Christmas spirit with all the winter/Christmas recipes being posted!

    Thank you for sharing these! :0)

    1. Baking is the way we get the Christmas Spirit going in our house, too. I was thinking, I don't remember my Mom having any cook book but Betty Crocker!

  2. What a good idea! It's always a challenge to use the rest of the black treacle. I have to confess mine often lurks at the back of the cupboard for months.

    1. I think that's how I ended up with two tins. One was lurking. ; )

  3. These cookies look delicious. Would like to try the recipe but I only wonder where I can buy molasses over here. Will find out.

    1. I think molasses is universal but has many different names. : )

  4. Ha Ha! I had 3 tins of black treacle in the cupboard, 2 opened (I threw them out) and used a tablespoonful from the newly opened (well out of use by date) one in the Christmas Cake.

    Maybe I'll have to make some cookies now.

    1. Does that stuff multiply when you shut the cupboard door? ; ) It's like cell division only stickier.

  5. The list of spices just shout - CHRISTMAS - fabulous combinations & something I will try ....

    1. This is a very old fashioned recipe and exactly what Christmas tasted like when I was a child. : )


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