Katie’s fat molasses Cookies – big, soft & comforting

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The texture of these cookies is lovely and light, almost a little biscuit like. And they’re not too sweet.

There’s nothing I love better than hearing the stories behind your favourite molasses recipes. It takes me back to my own childhood kitchen and makes me feel welcomed into your home. This recipe for Katie’s Fat molasses cookies came from Leone Campbell, who recalled the day 48 years ago that she first tasted them.

Here is Leone’s story:

“Reading through my recipe box I came across my recipe for molasses cookies that I have been baking for over 48 years. As a young woman I had walked over to visit my older aunt and as I entered the house was delightfully welcomed by the smell of molasses. Her housekeeper, Katie, had just taken a pan of cookies from the oven. I was invited to sit for a cup of tea and a “fat molasses cookie”. I immediately asked for the recipe and “Katie” happily shared it with me.

Forty eight years later it is still my family’s favorite and has been present on many car trips as we travelled through the Maritimes visiting family and friends. Our travel snack has always been fat molasses cookies and cheese—never McDonald’s!!! Now my grandchildren are baking and eating them using the same recipe and silently thanking “Katie” and Grandma Molasses.”

The texture of these cookies is lovely and light, almost a little biscuit like. And they’re not too sweet.  Yes, great with a slice of cheese or on their own. Take care not to roll them too thin (for me that meant keeping the dough twice as thick as usual). That’s the key to the addictive texture. And I suppose why they’re called “fat” cookies.

The texture of these cookies is lovely and light, almost a little biscuit like. And they’re not too sweet.

I made big fat rounds and my daughter (she’s 9) used her half of the dough to make Halloween cut-out cookies for the kids in our neighbourhood .

Katie’s fat molasses cookies

A molasses memory from Leone Campbell

  • 4 3/4 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ginger or cinnamon
  • 1 cup shortening (or butter)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  1. In a large bowl cream the shortening, sugar and eggs.
  2. In another bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3. Add dry to creamed mixture, alternating with molasses and milk.
  4. Roll or pat out on a lightly floured surface, keeping the dough thick (up to 1 cm).
  5. Cut in favourite shapes.
  6. Bake 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes (watch closely after 10 minutes)

These freeze beautifully, if they last that long.

What’s your family’s favourite cookie recipe?

21 thoughts on “Katie’s fat molasses Cookies – big, soft & comforting

  1. Jennifer B says:

    Every year when it snows for the first time we stop what we are doing and make gingerbread. This is something we have been doing for about 9 years now. In October the kids start asking if we have molasses!

    Those cookies look wonderful!

    1. Bridget says:

      What a great story. I might start the same tradition with my kids!

  2. Jay says:

    Thanks for the familiar-sounding story. Molasses cookies (of a similar recipe) were always a treat from my grandmother, as kids, and will always remind me of family get-togethers.

  3. Jane says:

    When I saw these cookies it reminded me of the ones my Grandmam and Mom used to make. We called them Fat Archies. They truly are delicious.

    1. Bridget says:

      Isn’t it great how recipes get their names!

  4. Rita Doucet says:

    I use again and again

  5. linda says:

    the recipe I have calls them Joe Froggers, I have no idea where the name comes from, but the cookies are delicious.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Linda — I was given a recipe for Joe Froggers! It recipe came out of a cookbook compiled by the Peterborough Historical Society. Does your recipe call for rum?

  6. Judy says:

    I am definitely going to make these…Christmas would not be Christmas without gingerbread cookies.

  7. Susan says:

    These cookies sounded so good! So I tried them and I couldn’t roll them out since the dough was so soft. So I made drop cookies instead. Not as pretty but still tasty!

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Susan,
      You’re right, the dough is very soft. If you make them again you could try patting out the dough. Also, I used a generous amount of flour with mine and keep a very light touch with the rolling pin. The cookie texture is lovely if you can get it to work for you.

  8. My question is can the milk be substituted by tea or coffee or plain water? Thank you.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Evelyn,
      Yes, all would make great substitutions!

  9. Sue Robinson says:

    HI…I have been trying to find a molasses cookie recipe for a long time now. As a little girl, I couldn’t wait to visit my Great Aunt Gladys so I could have some of her fantastic molasses cookies. They were big & fat, not quite round because I guess they must’ve spread while they baked so they’d always have one or 2 flat sides. They would be a little chewy & moist & oh so good with a glass of milk. I still remember she kept them in a round, red plaid tin. I was especially lucky if I got to her house right after she had baked new ones! Not only could I then have a nice warm one but walking into her kitchen was like being wrapped in a spicy, brown sugary, “lally” scented blanket. (for those who don’t understand, lally was our family’s word for molasses) I am so hoping that this recipe turns out to be like my Aunt’s. I will be baking them tomorrow & will let you know.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Sue,
      What a beautiful story! I just love it when people share their cookie memories. I hope that these are similar to your Great Aunt Gladys’. Let me know!

  10. Kristen says:

    This will be the recipe my grandchildren ask for in 30 years. These cookies ARE what you remember from your childhood.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Kristen, What a great thought!Baking cookies and making memories…

  11. Deidre says:

    I been searching for THE perfect molasses cookie recipe for a long time. I made these- used half butter and half shortening. Without a doubt THE best cookie ever. Thanks so much for sharing.
    My grandmother used to make a similar cookie but with caraway seeds sprinkled on top- which as a young girl I would promptly scrape off!

    1. Bridget says:

      Dear Deidre, I’m so glad you liked them! There’s nothing like finding a great cookie recipe.

  12. Daniel Brideau says:

    Hi there, my name is Daniel and I live in Chilliwack , BC. I grew up in New Brunswick in a small city named Saint John, population approximately 75,000. One day I was walking through Saint John City Market, Est. 1786, when I stopped at the bakery and purchased a pack of molasses cookies that were exactly like these, 6 in a row for $1.50. I was young then and had a big appetite but could only accomplish 2 3/4 of these maritime classic molasses cookies. I tried your recipe and boy was I some happy when these huge bad boys come outta the oven and arrived in my mouth. Thanks for sharing the awesome recipe and bringing good memories back to me.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Daniel, Great that you rediscovered an old favourite. By the way, we’re based in Saint John and still have all of our operations on Rothesay Ave.

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