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New Twist to a Classic Cookie: Soft Rye Molasses Cookies

Let’s take a quick trip back in time to fall 2019. A time before covid, before moving to the Midwest, and the time I planted a bunch of wheat and rye without plans on what to use it for. The rye grew. It was harvested and thrashed. Then it sat in the freezer in a bag waiting to be used in some way. Fast forward to recently when I had an idea for rye and needed to mill some up.

Now this brings us to the topic of this post, molasses cookies. Personally I don’t like molasses. I think I’m allergic? All I know is foods with high amounts of molasses (molasses bread, molasses cookies, gingerbread cookies) cause my throat to be itchy and I was told that’s not good. So I avoid it, but my dad loves molasses cookies and he has been asking for some for quite some time and I figured it was a great time to whip some up.

Molasses is a strong flavor. Very rich. I wanted to do something that would hold true to the simple flavor profile but also bring a little something new. I have seen so many recipes out there for rye chocolate chip cookies and just wanted something different. I also wanted to make a *slightly* healthier cookie and using a home grown, whole grain like the rye in my freezer I would say is better for your gut. Check out the recipe below!


Rye Molasses Cookies

140g Rye Flour

140g All Purpose Flour

1 ½ tsp Baking Soda

Pinch Salt

2 tsp Ginger, ground

1 ½ tsp Cinnamon, ground

Heavy Pinch Clove, ground

Heavy Pinch Nutmeg, ground

170g Unsalted Butter, soft

100g Brown Sugar

50g Granulated Sugar

1 ea Egg

2 tsp Vanilla

55g Molasses

Granulated Sugar to coat

  1. In a clean bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until creamy, scraping often.

  4. Add the molasses and beat until well combined.

  5. Add the dry ingredients and slowly beat until fully combined.

  6. Scoop dough into portions about ¼ cup in size. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  7. Coat each dough ball with granulated sugar then place on a lined pan, 6 per pan.

  8. Bake in a preheated 350℉ oven for 10-11 minutes. Rotate halfway through.


Rye is an interesting grain. It does not contain gluten in the form that it’s normally viewed like wheat. Quick little science lesson. Gluten is made with two proteins, gliadin and glutenin. You need the right ratios of both proteins to for a good gluten structure. Rye has sufficient amounts of gliadin it does not contain enough glutenin. Rye also has natural gums called pentosans that interfere with the gluten forming proteins. These gums are what is responsible for the distinct texture of rye being denser and gummy.

Please do not say rye is gluten free because it is not. It is low in gluten but if you have an allergy to gluten, rye can still cause you issues. On the other hand, rye is a great grain with delicious flavor and although it has a great affect in bread making I have never had as many issues when using it for other baking and pastry aspects. Cookies with rye are great. To make sure my cookies didn’t have too much of a gummy texture, I did a 50/50 spilt with all purpose flour to get a great cookie in this recipe.

The rest of this recipe is classic cookie mixing. Cream butter and sugars (please make sure to get a good mix here!!!), add the eggs followed by other liquids, finish with dry ingredients and barely mix them in. I did make these large cookies, see the ¼ size? But you can make them smaller. The size I suggest makes a nice like 3 ½ inch-ish cookie. Make them smaller if you need more for a larger crowd but that is up to you and make sure to reduce baking time.

And that’s it! Simple recipe, new flavors, and maybe better health? I’m not a nutritionist or dietician. I have friends that are and I don’t know how they do that but it is not my cup of tea. But I know different grains are better for you, whole grains are great, and a variety in grains is amazing. Try this recipe, maybe change that rye for a different grain you’ve wanted to try, and enjoy this new take on a classic like molasses cookies!

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