These chewy ginger cookies made with molasses and warm spices like ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg get an extra hit of heat thanks to a pinch of black pepper.
Given the choice between chewy or crisp, I’m a chewy cookie girl all the way. So instead of those dry, crumbly gingerbread men who get all the holiday cookie attention, this chewy ginger cookie recipe makes cookies that are a little bit crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle, with a crinkly top to make them my go-to holiday favorite.
I like my ginger molasses cookies warmly spiced with ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, plus a surprise ingredient that brings on just a bit of heat: black pepper. Rolled in crystallized sanding sugar, these chewy cookies are sweet and spiced and everything nice.
What’s In Chewy Ginger Cookies
- granulated sugar
- butter (salted or unsalted), at room temperature
- egg, at room temperature
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- ground ginger
- ground black pepper
- crystal sanding sugar
How to Make Chewy Ginger Cookies
Cream the sugar and softened butter until light and creamy. Use a stand or hand mixer to cream the sugar and butter for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is creamy and light in color.
Mix in the egg and molasses. Make sure the wet ingredients are well incorporated into the creamy mixture.
Sift the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet. I sift the dry ingredients onto a piece of parchment so I can easily slide them into the mixer.
Refrigerate the Cookie Dough
Refrigerate to allow time for the egg and molasses to hydrate the flour. One hour is enough time for hydration but if making ahead, you can refrigerate the dough for 2-3 days before baking.
Roll the Balls In Hand
Use a #24 cookie scoop or about 2 tablespoons dough for each cookie. I love using scoops to make cookie baking so easy. I like big cookies so I use the #24 scoop. Or if you don’t have a scoop, measure out about 2 tablespoons dough for each cookie.
Roll the dough balls then roll them in coarse sanding sugar. Roll each ball in the palms of your hands until smooth. Big crystals of sanding sugar contribute to the crackly texture of the cookies. I usually buy mine directly from the baker’s stash a the bakery department of the grocery store.
How Long to Bake Chewy Ginger Cookies
Bake the cookies in batches for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will be puffy when pulled from the oven but will flatten and the tops will crinkle as they cool.
Do not overbake these cookies or they won’t be soft and chewy. If crisp cookies are what you want, add a few more minutes to the baking time.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Coconut Snowballs
- Chocolate and Orange Sandwich Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting
- White Chocolate and Peppermint Christmas Wreaths
- Coconut and Lime Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Dipped Almond Cookies
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Chewy Ginger Cookies
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup softened butter
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup large crystal sanding sugar
- Mix the sugar and butter in a large bowl or stand mixer for 3-4 minutes until light and creamy. Add the molasses and egg and mix well. Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper on a piece of parchment paper then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Use a #24 cookie scoop (2-inch scoops) to make rounded balls. Roll each ball between the palms of your hands until smooth then roll in the sanding sugar. Lightly grease a baking sheet and place 6 dough balls per sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will be puffy and will flatten as they cool. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.