Baking with Olivia and Caroline

September 2023 Recipe – MOLASSES SUGAR COOKIES

By Published On: September 1st, 2023

Do you have a favorite cookie from your childhood? One that brings back a flood of wonderful welcome memories? We sure do! This recipe has been loved for generations in our family. When I was a kid, my mom would make molasses sugar cookies on a regular basis. My three siblings and I would go gaga over them. I just visited my mom in the hospital, and she told a story about making them for us kids when we were growing up. She said that one day after school, my oldest brother came home and saw the tray of cookies cooling on the cookie rack. He proceeded to grab the jug of milk from the fridge and a full dozen cookies! My mom laughed and said, “What the heck are you doing, you have to save some for everyone else!” Begrudgingly, he put six back.

It is only fitting that we share this recipe with you this month, as it is my mom’s 86th birthday in September. Unfortunately, she has had some health issues lately. We have shared many times what a wonderful cook/baker she is. She would always have something homemade for us to snack on, and holiday meals were something especially delicious to look forward to – from the table settings she created to the food she prepared. She wasn’t one to purchase anything processed and frequently said, “everything should be enjoyed in moderation.” She set a precedent for the way I raised my own kids.

While Caroline and I were preparing these cookies for this month’s recipe, everyone was quite excited. There is nothing like grandma/mom’s molasses sugar cookies dunked in a tall glass of cold milk! We keep all our old favorite and family recipes lovingly shoved into a teeming cabinet you have to close really fast. That being said, the kids have all tried to make molasses sugar cookies on some occasion, in their own houses, without having the original recipe. Caroline has tried multiple top-rated online recipes, and none can even compare to Grandma’s cookies. The difference is astonishing. These cookies never get hard, they stay soft for days even outside the cookie jar. If and only if they last that long. Thanks Crisco!


¾ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
More sugar for coating


Melt shortening in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the sugar, molasses, and egg to the cooled shortening and beat well. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the shortening mixture, mix well, and chill the dough for a minimum of one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F and prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Remove from fridge, form dough into one-inch balls, and roll them in a small bowl of granulated sugar to coat. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet, spaced two inches apart. Bake in batches for 8-10 minutes. •

Olivia and Caroline are enthusiastic foodies and bakers who are constantly in the kitchen, as well as explorers who create their own adventures in our area – and did we mention they are mother and daughter? Follow Olivia on Instagram to see her many creations at @oliviawvalentine.