Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies

Recipe by PJ Hamel

These wonderful cookies are soft, moist, chewy... and spicy! Their secret? Ground black pepper, which gives their flavor delicious "bite" right at the end. Fresh-grated ginger and crystallized ginger add their own distinctive sweet-hot flavors. Thanks to Pies a la Mode, a bakery in Falmouth, Massachusetts, for the cookies that inspired this recipe.

15 mins
8 to 14 mins
23 mins
33 cookies
Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and baking soda until they're well-combined.

  3. Beat in the egg, and then the molasses, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to blend in any sticky residue.

  4. Add the flour, oats, crystallized ginger, fresh ginger, spices, and espresso powder. Mix just until thoroughly combined.

  5. Scoop the sticky dough into 1 1/2" balls; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

  6. Roll the balls in sugar (either granulated or coarse), if desired. This is easily done by sprinkling the sugar into an 8" cake pan, and dropping the sticky dough into the pan. Shake the pan to coat the dough balls with sugar.

  7. Space the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2" between them.

  8. Bake the cookies for 8 to 14 minutes; bake for the shorter amount of time on a dark cookie sheet without parchment; the longer time if you've lined your baking sheet with parchment. The centers will look soft and puffy; that's OK. Cookies baked for the shorter amount of time will be VERY soft; bake them longer for a firmer cookie.

  9. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan; or transfer to a rack to cool. To maintain soft texture, store at room temperature once cookies are completely cool.