RECIPE: Molasses cookies just like Grandma’s

Fall has me hankering for all things warm, aromatic and spiced. The cozy nights and even cozier cool mornings always make me salivate for mugs of chai or pumpkin spice and flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg and rich molasses. Enter one of the most perfect cookies to ever exist: the chewy, deeply satisfying molasses cookie.

Growing up, I would visit my Grammy Dodge in Texas around this time of year, and she would always have warm molasses cookies waiting with warm Grammy smiles and the biggest Grammy hugs. It’s one of the most salient cookie memories of my life. It’s why I love making them this time of year and enjoying them with a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate.

These cookies are spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice and molasses. Most stores carry the Grandma’s brand Original Molasses, which will work just fine, but if you ever find a roadside stand selling jars of molasses, buy them! Local molasses has so much more flavor than the commercial variety and tends to be a bit easier to work with.

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Many people ask whether sorghum can be substituted for molasses, since it can be easier to find here in the South. The answer is yes, but decrease the granulated sugar by 1/2 cup because sorghum is sweeter than molasses.

The cookie’s chewiness really comes from the melted butter. Mixing it with the sugars and salt not only reduces the airiness, leading to a chewier texture, but it also allows you to mix by hand, forgoing the need for a stand or handheld mixer.

The resulting dough is great to roll with loved ones, top with a little turbinado sugar, bake, and eat warm while enjoying these beautiful days of fall.

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Sarah Dodge is an Atlanta-based bread baker, pastry chef and baking instructor. She is the owner of Bread is Good, which offers bread subscriptions to the general public and wholesale baked goods to local markets and restaurants.

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