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Jean Anderson is one of our favorite cookbook authors. Her From a Southern Oven in 2012 is a staple for us. We’ve tried with delight recipes like her Peppery Cheese Rounds and her Open-Face Vidalia Pie. I cannot urge you strongly enough to find and enjoy her books.

Here’s another reason, also in From a Southern Oven. You’ve had molasses cookies through your life. Big and small, hard and soft. Here is the Goldilock’s recipe: just right. The right size, the right texture.

Part of the secret here is to make the dough then refrigerate it overnight. I know, you want the cookies now. Patience in this case is worth the wait.

Molasses Chews

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies


  • 2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar plus ¼ cup for coating cookies
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) melted unsalted butter (no substitute)
  • ¼ cup molasses (not too dark)
  • 1 large egg


Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and spices into a large bowl and set aside.

Combine 1 cup sugar, butter, molasses, and egg in second large bowl, then mix in sifted dry ingredients about 1 cup at a time to make a stiff dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to proceed, preheat oven to 375°F. Also, spritz several baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Working with a small amount of chilled dough at a time, shape into 1-inch balls. Roll each in remaining ¼ cup sugar to coat, then space about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

Slide onto middle oven shelf and bake 10 minutes until crinkly on top and irresistible smelling. Note: For crisper cookies, bake about 2 minutes more.

Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to wire racks.

Cool to room temperature, then store in airtight canisters.

Source: From a Southern Oven by Jean Anderson [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/6.3 for 1/100th second at ISO‑100