Sheet Pan

Molasses Clove Cookies

October 14, 2014
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about sixteen 4-inch cookies
Author Notes

Inspired by Dancing Deer's Molasses Clove cookies and adapted from my Chubby Chewy Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies.

Note: I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour for this recipe. I love it. I think you could substitute it for all-purpose flour, in which case, decrease the butter to 2 sticks. —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Mrslarkin is a pastry chef from Pound Ridge, NY, where she sells her baked goods at regional farmers markets.
WHAT: A chewy and spice-filled whole wheat cookie that's as huge as it is delicious.
HOW: Make a basic cookie dough, but sweeten it with molasses and spike it with cinnamon and cloves. Roll it into huge balls and give them a spin through turbinado sugar before popping them in the oven.
WHY WE LOVE IT: One bite of this cookie and you'll be inspired to pour yourself a tall glass of milk for dunking. This is exactly the type of cookie we turn to for an after-dinner treat: The spices balance the sweetness, creating a cookie that bridges the transition from savory to sweet with every milk-soaked bite. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups (1 pound 2 ounces) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar, for rolling dough
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line 2 or 3 heavy-duty cookie sheets with parchment paper. (I can fit 8 cookies to a sheet pan, as my pans are quite large, so I use 2 sheet pans.)
  2. Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars on medium/low speed for 3 minutes. On low speed, add the molasses, then the salt, spices, and baking soda.
  3. Add eggs one at a time at medium/low speed and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add flour and mix on low speed until incorporated, then mix at medium speed for 10 seconds to make sure all of the spices are incorporated.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, scoop dough balls that are about 3 ounces each (smaller than a tennis ball, but bigger than a ping pong ball). With your hands, roll dough into balls to smooth the edges.
  6. Roll tops of cookie dough balls in turbinado sugar in a shallow bowl and place sugar-side-up 2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Press balls very gently with the back of a fork or your fingers to slightly flatten. (I use a flat-bottomed, 3 inch-wide measuring cup to press the dough until it's about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high.)
  7. At this point, cookies can be frozen and baked off at a later time. Place them in the freezer on the parchment-lined baking sheets overnight or for several hours. (I prefer this freezing method as I'm convinced it produces a chewier cookie, but I could also just be imagining it all.)
  8. Bake the cookies, either frozen or unfrozen, for 16 minutes (if you're baking from frozen, remember that they should be placed a few inches apart). Rotate the pans back-to-front and top-to-bottom after the first 8 minutes, then return to oven for 8 more minutes and start checking for doneness. Bake for no more than 18 minutes -- if you over bake the cookies, they won't be chewy. Remove your cookies when the edges feel set and the centers feel not quite done. I usually pull my cookies on the early side, as they continue to cook once removed from the oven. I haven't tried these in a small size, but if you do, bake them for less time.
  9. When done, remove from oven, and slide the cookies, parchment and all, onto a cooling rack.
  10. Store cooled cookies in an airtight cookie jar or sealed plastic bag. They stay chewy for days.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melanie
  • nannydeb
  • The Pontificator
    The Pontificator
  • cookinginvictoria
  • hardlikearmour

27 Reviews

Melanie December 21, 2020
Loved these; the flavor is superb! I doubled the cinnamon and added an extra teaspoon of clove. Added red sugar to the turbinado to give a holiday touch. Thanks for this excellent recipe.
Nadeen R. June 19, 2020
Made these last weekend and they were divine! This recipe is a keeper. I used white flour as a substitution following the recommendation.
Doug December 20, 2018
Not to be a pill.... I do a lot of bread baking and consequently NEVER measure flour choosing to weigh it. As such, I am questioning your measurement for the white wheat flour at 18 ounces (1 pound 2 ounces). My standard flour is King Arthur and I use their measurements document, which shows the white wheat flour and the whole wheat flour to be 4 ounces per cup, not 4 1/4 ounces. The all-purpose flour would be 4 1/4 ounces.
nannydeb March 20, 2015
I just made these and thoroughly enjoyed two with my coffee! I love the chewiness and the clovyness and the freezing of the cookie dough balls to have ready on a whim. Thanks for another delicious recipe!
mrslarkin March 20, 2015
You're welcome! So great to hear, nannydeb!
Sydney C. March 19, 2015
We love molasses cookies! I have decided to give this a go as written, pare back from there, if we find them too dense/dry. Thank you and congrats on your win!
mrslarkin March 19, 2015
Thanks Sydney! Hope you like them. They are very chewy, not dense/dry at all.
Sydney C. March 19, 2015
While I like the idea of a wholesome cookie, I don't make them that often so we like to enjoy them as a indulgent treat full fat and sugar loaded. I think the molasses would be suited to whole wheat flour but they (molasses cookies in general) are already such a dense I hesitate to make them as written. What would be the butter ratio if I were to make them with half APF and half WW? (Sorry no KA, the Bob's Red Mill store is just down the street :)
mrslarkin March 19, 2015
I have no idea. I would probably use 2 1/2 sticks butter.
Jessica March 17, 2015
This recipe looks awesome! One question: your note says "I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour for this recipe. I love it. I think you could substitute it for all-purpose flour, in which case, decrease the butter to 2 sticks." But the recipe calls for the White Whole Wheat Flour and 2-1/2 sticks of butter. . . .so should I use 2 sticks butter with KAF White Whole Wheat Flour and 2-1/2 sticks with AP flour? Thanks!
mrslarkin March 17, 2015
Hi Jessica, sorry for confusion. that should read "substitute it WITH all-purpose flour", in which case use less butter (2 sticks) with the all-purpose flour.
The P. March 15, 2015
"Makes sixteen 4-inch cookies"

I'm in!!!
cookinginvictoria March 10, 2015
Congratulations on the Wild Card, mrsl! I am a big fan of your Chubby Chewy Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookie recipe and can't wait to give these a whirl. :)
mrslarkin March 10, 2015
Thanks, civ!! Hope you like these, too.
cookinginvictoria March 10, 2015
I will try these soon, but I have your chocolate chip chewy cookies in the oven right now. My daughter is having a play date and this was her request for snack time!
hardlikearmour March 10, 2015
Congratulations, Liz! ♥
mrslarkin March 10, 2015
Thanks hla!! :)
ChefJune March 10, 2015
I'm thinking these cookies would be outrageous made as 2-inchers and used for Ice Cream Sandwiches -- with peach ice cream (or apricot, for that matter).
mrslarkin March 10, 2015
hungryheart March 10, 2015
i noticed that the cookies in picture 1 have an even pebbly texture, and in picture 2 have deep cracks, but perhaps a smoother texture in between the cracks. what is the reason for the difference? resting time/chilling maybe? both look soo delicious.
hungryheart March 10, 2015
p.s. love that you push for whole wheat in these cookies! whole wheat and molasses are perfect together.
mrslarkin March 10, 2015
Yes, they are a great combo! And the answer to your qestion is: I'm not sure why. Every single time I've made them (and I've made them a lot), my cookies have the deep crackly texture. I'd be interested in seeing how everyone's cookies come out. Post a picture up top if you make them!!
Nicole March 9, 2015
will these come out as good if I halve the recipe?
mrslarkin March 9, 2015
I haven't tried it, but it might work just fine.
mrslarkin November 18, 2014
Just realized I omitted the step of adding the flour. Woopsies. It should appear as:

"Step 4: Add flour and mix on low speed until incorporated. Mix at medium speed for 10 seconds to incorporate all the spices."

Carry on.
Lucky S. October 14, 2014
I can personally attest to the extreme yum. What about baking them if you freeze first?
mrslarkin October 14, 2014
Ah, yes. To bake off frozen cookie "pucks", don't change a thing. Same temp and time.