Molasses gingersnap cookies, are a thick, fat and chewy molasses cookie with a gingersnap twist; topped with icing (with the optional hint of cream cheese!)
These chewy and soft and chewy molasses gingersnap cookies actually get even better after a day or two.
When it comes to the icing, you've got two options:
You can either make a classic, light icing that sets on the cookie, allowing the cookies to be stored on the counter top at room temperature.
Or, you can add a "kiss" of cream cheese. Cream cheese is classically delicious with warm spices like ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. If you do choose to add cream cheese to the icing, just be sure to store frosted cookies and frosting in the fridge.
Molasses is the ingredient that makes baked goods like these, chewy, soft and delicious. Use light or regular molasses. (That's the reason brown sugar is used in most cookie recipes, and omitted in this one.)
Making the cookie dough
In a large bowl, combine the shortening, sugar, egg, molasses, and vanilla with a wooden spoon until smooth like the photo on the left, below (a few shortening lumps are okay).
Add the spices, salt, baking soda and flour and stir until batter comes together like the photo on the right.
Use a cookie dough scooper or a tablespoon to make round dough balls and arrange on a baking sheet. You can also just use your hands and roll them into 1 ½ inch balls.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes in a 350°F.
Making the icing
Wait until cookies are cooled to spread icing on them.
Make sure the cream cheese (if using) is completely softened at room temperature. It's a good idea to set it out before the cookies bake, at the same time when you preheat the oven.
For the regular icing (without cream cheese)
Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. the powdered sugar has been previously opened, or it looks like it has lumps, sift it or shake it through a mesh strainer.
For the cream cheese icing
Combine the softened cream cheese powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth.
The cream cheese icing can sit covered, on the counter for up to two hours. If you are making it in advance, or have leftovers, store it in the fridge.
Tips and tricks
- If the cookie dough is too soft to work with, chill it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap for up to one hour.
- Cookie dough can be made ahead and frozen whole, in a log shape, or in balls. To thaw whole log, thaw in the fridge overnight and shape/bake as normal. Bake frozen cookie balls at the same temperature 350°F for an additional 2-4 minutes.
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Iced Molasses Gingersnap Cookies
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp clove
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 2 oz cream cheese optional, softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- If you desire to add cream cheese in the icing, take it out to soften on the counter top now.
- In large bowl combine the shortening (½ cup), sugar (½ cup), egg (1), molasses (1 cup), and vanilla (1 tsp) with a wooden spoon.
- Add to that the cinnamon (1 tsp), nutmeg (¼ tsp), clove (⅛ tsp), ginger (1 tsp), salt (1 tsp), baking soda (1 tsp) and flour (2 ½ cups). Stir until dough comes together, and don't overdo it.
- Roll into 1 ½-inch balls between the palms of your hands (or use a scoop) and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes, until puffy with set edges and centers.
- Cool completely before icing.
- If powdered sugar has lumps, or has been opened, sift it or tap it through a mesh strainer by tapping on the sides to let it fall through.
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar (1 cup), vanilla (1 tsp), and milk (1 tablespoon) until smooth. Add another tablespoon of milk for a thinner icing (keeping in mind it will set slightly.)
- If desired, whisk in softened cream cheese until smooth.
- Wait until cookies are cooled to ice.
- Don't over mix the cookie dough once you've added the flour because it can make the cookies flat.
- The cookies are done when they are puffed up and the edges are set, without any dewy centers.
- Allow cookies to cool before frosting.
- Cookies iced with icing that doesn't include cream cheese can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Cookies iced with cream cheese icing can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 hours, but should be refrigerated after that. Any remaining cream cheese icing should be stored in the fridge, covered.