As the weather cools down, I’m ready to warm up the oven with some of my family’s favorites. Apple spice bars and apple pie often make an appearance this time of year, but until we’ve made a trip to the orchard, the apple spice will have to wait.

Both of my kids are away at college this fall and as a result, I also need something that will ship well for sharing. Something like these soft molasses cookies.

Does every New England grandmother have a version of this unassuming cookie? It’s not fancy, just a big, soft cake-y treat with molasses and ginger, the kind that counter-top cookie jars are made for. My Nana’s recipe also has cinnamon and cloves, so they’re extra spicy. (I may be biased, but I think she made the best spice cookies.)

Nana’s Soft Molasses Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup boiling water

soft molasses cookies

Sift together the flour, soda, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until fluffy, then gradually add the sugar. Then add the egg and molasses and beat well.

Add the sifted ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the boiling water. Mix well, then refrigerate the dough for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Drop chilled dough by heaping teaspoonful onto the cookie sheet, then bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

If you have any left over, you can store in a covered container. Or maybe a cookie jar.

soft molasses cookies

A few years ago I shared Nana’s ginger snap recipe. While I’m almost positive that ginger snaps are my favorite, it’s hard for me to decide which of her spiced cookies I like the best. So maybe you can try them and let me know what you think!

Do you have any spicy autumn recipes you like to bake this time of year? An old family recipe or maybe another new Pinterest discovery? What’s your favorite?