I wouldn’t consider this a revolutionary concept in the slightest, but a simple tweak to my daily routine has changed everything.
“Make a list.”
That’s the advice Eric gave me several weeks ago when I was fizzling out. <—my term for juggling too many things at once with no clear direction on how to get it all done. I was moving at mach speed, but not feeling like I was making real progress. Running in place at its finest.
So I took his advice and dropped everything to make a simple list. I’ve enjoyed list-making in the past, but got out of the habit somewhere along the way. Eric is always ranting and raving about how good it feels to check off his list (he always has a list), and I’ve been secretly envious of his organizational prowess for years. A few weeks ago I made a list just for kicks. By 10am, I already had a few major things checked off and I felt motivated to keep going. Just like the energizer bunny. Ok, not really, but I felt more on top of things than I had in a while. He might be onto something here…
Of course, I had to buy a cute notebook for my new list-making infatuation. For some reason, I can’t get into the digital/online/app lists. Too easy to ignore, maybe. I need a list I can hold in my hand, cart around, and of course, scratch off each item with self-congratulatory force.
I now try to finish off each day by making a to-do list for the next day. I think I’ve reached peak personal organization! bahah. When I wake up in the morning, I already have a game plan waiting to be pounced on. Things are added, removed, or tweaked as the day goes on. Sometimes I get them done and sometimes I don’t (like yesterday, when we were without power for 24 hours due to an ice storm), but the point is that it’s made a huge impact in my day-to-day motivation and sense of accomplishment. And during the dreary, short days of winter, I’ll take every little bit I can get.
These molasses cookies are made a bit healthier using light spelt flour instead of all-purpose flour. To my delight, they turned out even better than my former favourite ginger cookies. The spelt flour lends a rich, nutty flavour and compliments the rustic molasses, cinnamon, and ginger flavours nicely. If you are looking for a last-minute cookie idea that is super quick to throw together, try these on for size. Keep in mind this batch only makes 1 dozen cookies, so you might want to double it for a larger crowd.
Chewy Molasses Spelt Cookies
1 dozen cookies
With crispy edges and chewy middles, these are hard to resist. The candied ginger is optional, so no worries if you don’t have any. I made the first batch without candied ginger and the second with it. I think I prefer the version without the candied ginger as they were a bit less sweet. If you want to cut back on the sugar, omit the candied ginger and the optional rolling in sugar. Either way, they’ll be a nice treat no matter which way you make them!
- 1/2 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup natural cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 & 1/4 cups light spelt flour
- 1/4 cup diced candied ginger (optional)
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar, for rolling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix flax and water in a mug and set aside for a few minutes. Stir to combine.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, molasses, syrup, vanilla, and flax mixture until smooth and combined.
- In the same bowl, beat in one-by one, the dry ingredients (ginger, cinnamon, soda, salt, cloves, and flour) until just combined. Be sure not to overmix.
- Fold in diced candied ginger if using (or skip this step).
- Shape dough into small balls and roll in a bowl of sugar (optional). Place balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Carefully flatten ball slightly with hand so it's about 1/2 inch thick.
- Bake cookies for 12 minutes for a crispier cookie, or 10 minutes for a softer cookie (I did 12). Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!
Notes: 1) You can probably swap the light spelt flour for all-purpose flour if desired. 2) This recipe can be doubled if you desire 24 cookies instead of 12. 3) I used a combo of cane sugar and turbinado sugar for rolling (the turbinado makes it really crunchy), but you can use all cane sugar if you prefer.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
My planned giveaway was not possible this weekend due to the power outage. More coming soon over the next couple weeks, so stay tuned!
ps. – This song is on high rotation! can’t. stop. listening.
pps. – 17 more vegan holiday desserts & drinks
Wishing you all a happy, safe, and fun holiday! Thanks for your amazing support in 2013. xo
Hope your year (2013), ends with awesome cookie…. Havn’t tried before, else i too would have ended up the year with the same one..
I just made these yesterday (a double batch!!!) and they are already gone. Huge hit! I didn’t have Spelt so used all purpose GF flour and it was way too wet so I added about 1/4 more of flour. I also chopped the ginger up into small pieces so it wasn’t such a huge hit to your mouth like a little bomb of flavor! Still, amazing <3
Hey! I absolutely love your recipes! I made a vegan chocolate chip cookie that I think you would love if you want to take a look! veganosity.com/food/knock-your-socks-off-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies/
Angela, I recently became a happy follower! This morning we had your high protein breakfast burrito with a side of fresh pineapple, as you suggested. Was a delicious and satisfying way to start the day! Great recipe! Just made the cookies. OMG they are too good! 10 minutes out of the oven and I told myself I would only eat 2. I devoured 4. Now, my husband is going to want his fair share when he gets home. :) You are such a cutie— I’m enjoying your recipes. Many thanks!
So happy you are enjoying the recipes! :) Thanks for letting me know!
Hi Angela! I’m a new happy follower! Made these yesterday. Didn’t have candied ginger but that didn’t matter. The cookies were delicious. My husband and I loved them! This recipe is awesome!!!
What vegan butter are you using because Earth Balance has soy in it. Is there another option I can encourage my whole foods to carry?
Earth balance makes a soy free variety widely available.
Thank you so much for another delicious recipe. You are so generous and such an amazing and inspiring cook. I am really excited about your book! Just letting you (and your readers) know that I have made these using coconut oil as the ‘vegan butter’ 3 times and they work well and taste beautiful. I didn’t think I would like this kind of spice flavour (I am a chocolate girl – I initially made them as a treat for my husband) but I can’t stop eating these every time I make them! I use muscovado instead of cane sugar too. Thanks again. They are wonderful.
OMG…these babies have become my favorite cookie recipe, I have just made them and I am so scare that I might just eat them all before the night is over lol. Thank you for this amazing recipe.
Hey love your recipe.Did u forgot to write maple syrup?
Nope it’s in there!
Oh sorry, i just saw it, its written as Syrup. Thanks.
Ok gals, I ground some spelt this am and gave these a try. I get real creative at the end of the month… No money. And since These didn’t call for eggs it was a perfect timing! I doubled the recipie, used coconut oil, mixed all my dry ingredients together than sifted them into the wet stirring after so many sifts. I didn’t want to get a lump of ginger in w my cookies. Then I put them in fridge for 15 min. Baked as directed, they are amazing!! Thanks for the recipie!
The recipe turned out very well. I made a few substitutions and it was my first use of spelt flour. I used psyllium husk to replace the flax, applesauce rather than vegan butter and agave as opposed to molasses bc I didn’t have those items. I rolled them in turbinado as you suggested to add the crispness. One thing I really like about them is that they are flavourful, yet very nice and light. Thanks for sharing!
You made three major substitutions and gave the recipe four stars? This is a five star recipe as is. I think it’s the apple sauce and agave that maybe made it taste four stars.
You made molasses cookies without molasses? It’s not just sweetener….it’s for the flavor of this type of cookie.
I loved these! I didn’t have light spelt flour (or know where to get it, even), so I used half regular spelt flour and half AP. I baked them for 10 minutes and they were heavenly. I will certainly make them again. (And again. And again.)
Thank you so much for this fantastic reciepe. This are for sure the best ginger cookies I’ve ever tried! And they’re vegan.
All the best for you
A friend of mine gave me some spelt flour and I had no idea what to do with it. Came to Pinterest to see what was out there. These cookies appeared and oh my god, I am so happy they did. My husband and I love them! Thank you!
Is it ok to use Spectrum shortening in place of the vegan butter?
It won’t be vegan then unless it’s veg shortening?…there are other vegan butter substitutes out there too.
I am so excited to find this recipe, via pinterest! I have a gluten intolerance and have had lots of luck with spelt flour. However, I haven’t had a lot of luck with spelt cookies. Your recipe looks great though! I can’t wait to try making these tomorrow.
Can I add coconut oil instead of vegan butter? Has anyone tried that?
I am in the midst of making a double batch of your delicious cookies. This is my first vegan Christmas. I am sure these cookies will be part of my new “traditional baking” in the future. They are wonderful. My dough was too wet, as others have written, so I added about 1/4 cup more spelt flour. I guess it depends on the flour brand you use. I cut my candied ginger into tiny pieces and just used half of the powdered ginger. The flavour is perfect for me. I think these are my new favourite cookies! Thank you, Angela!
The cookies came out amazingly good! Can’t wait to share them over the holidays!
Made these tonight. Super easy & super tasty.
I’ve been wanting to make these for a few months and finally had all of the ingredients on hand and decided to bake them! I followed the recipe exactly but I came out with 16 cookies so I baked them for 10 minutes instead of 12 and they came out perfect. I eve added the chopped candied ginger. These cookies are amazing, chewy-spicy-addictive! I have found a keeper!
Just made your cookies very good. Thank you.
This looks DELICIOUS! I’m always looking for healthy and all natural cookies .. I found some at www.cooperstreetcookies.com but this looks like something I’ll have to try!
These are seriously the BEST cookies EVER! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! I ended up using Brown Rice Flour 1:1 in place of Spelt and they turned out amazing. The batter was really gooey, so I rolled them in organic cane sugar which really helped a lot. They turned out soft and perfect with the ginger chips added in. Thank you!!
These were delicious! Thanks so much for the easy recipe … perfect for the holidays. They were easy to make, and came out nice and chewy and perfect in taste and texture. These will definitely be made every year in my house!
These were the hands down favorite of my vegan cookie baking session!
This is not gluten-free!
Sorry to say but spelt contains gluten so if you have celiac disease like me or a gluten sensitivity stay far away from this cookie!!!
I made these yesterday but I used an egg instead of flaxseed mix and I left out molasses and doubled up on the maple syrup. I also used wholemeal spelt flour because I couldn’t find light spelt flour. My mix was just soo sticky and basically impossible to roll into balls. Is there a way I could fix it so that doesn’t happen? Like maybe adding more flour until its rollable? But would that counteract the flavour at all? Meaning I would have to add more ginger and cinnamon possibly? Or would it be fine?
This recipe is awesome. When I made it my dough was so wet I kept adding and adding flour. Spread a little but still tasted pretty good. Went back and looked at the recipe…I had accidentally doubled the butter And forgot the syrup. If they were that good with my ineptitude I am definitely going to try them the correct way and they will probably be the best ginger cookies ever Thanks for the “foolproof” recipe.
Haha, oh no! These things happen to all of us sometimes, lol. I’m glad the end result was still tasty, Kimberly :)
I made these tonight with sugar on top. I subbed coconut oil and used whole wheat flour instead. I may add more molasses and spices next time, but texture was great.
Can I substitute almond flour for the spelt flour?
Hi Krissy – I have made this substitution in multiple recipes myself and it should work out fine. The biscuits might be a little crumblier than pictured and more liquid might be needed to hold the dough together. Tell me how it goes – I’m sure I’ll get around to trying it eventually but I would love to hear your experience also :)
I recently invested in some blackstrap molasses for the benefits of trace minerals that a vegan diet sometimes lacks (calcium, iron) and now am discovering all the gorgeous gingerbread-esque recipes that I can whip up using it. This looks like another one I’ll be adding to repertoire. Thanks for sharing Angela!
I just made these after I saw your cookie blog post :-) I’ve been wanting to make them for some time now but always forgot about some ingredient. Now I finally had everything together and am now enjoying them with my coffee. They are sooooo good! Perfect texture. Love them. Now I need to go and hide them from cookie monster aka husband!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Alex! :)
I made these this morning in a double batch. Instead of 1/2 cup of oil, I used 1/2 cup applesauce. The cookie dough was more of a thick, wet sticky batter, so I used a melon scoop dunked in water to portion and shape the cookies. Loved them!
Good to know that swap worked out well for you! Thanks for sharing, Taylor.
Just devoured 3 of these :)
I used brown sugar, since I didn’t have cane, whole wheat pastry flour in lieu of spelt, and coconut oil instead of the earth balance. My substitutions worked perfectly.
Sounds like you’re enjoying them! ;) Thanks so much for sharing those subs, Alyssa. I’m glad they were a success!
These cookies look amazing. However, nutritional information with recipe would be most helpful.
I know I’m *very* late to the comment party here, but just wanted to say these cookies are AMAZING! I made them both as-specified (except with whole wheat flour) and with a little extra cinnamon and dark chocolate chunks — to die for!
I’m so glad to hear the cookies are a hit, Nico! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. :)
I realize you posted this years ago, but I made them yesterday for my adult sons – one vegan, one full-on carnivore – and my husband and myself and we all loved them. Next time I will bump up the spices because I like a little more kick in my ginger cookies. The candied ginger is a must and I would probably add a bit more of that ingredient as well.
Glad they were a hit, Peggy!
Very good recipe! It’s a keeper.
The only change I made was to sub the cane sugar with brown sugar because I didn’t have any cane on hand. I also chopped the diced candied ginger into small chunks as the pieces from the bag were huge.
Great tips Kara! Thanks for sharing
can you sub apple sauce or nut butter in place of butter?
I made a batch of these last night–turned out sooo good and I’ve got a double batch in the oven right now! I did use the candied ginger and sparkling sugar on top (just not quite as much). Also, I didn’t have “light” spelt flour so used regular.
Hey Marie, I’m so glad they turned out so well even with the changes…that’s always so nice to hear!
I just baked them they are very good ! I like my cookies crispy so I baked them 14 minutes ! Big mistake at 12 minutes they were perfect . I did 4 table spoon molasses since I like molasses a lot . Used whole wheat flour and everything the same . They are perfect . I like crispy cookies and they are crispy . I don’t like too sweet and they aren’t spice wise also number 1 super good . I crystallized my own ginger chopped it very small so all the cookies had some chunks .
What kind of flour would you suggest to make these gluten free?
Hey Christine, I haven’t tried subbing the spelt for another flour myself, but I’ve heard from a couple readers who’ve had success using both all-purpose GF flour and oat flour in place of the light spelt called for in this recipe. I’d love to hear how it goes if you try! If you’re looking for a festive GF cookie, I’d also suggest my Snickerdoodles…they’re a big hit in our house this time of year ;) https://ohsheglo.ws/1k
I love that this recipe was quick to make and super easy clean up! They turned out AMAZING! My husband is devouring them now while they’re still warm! I substituted a few ingredients but that’s why I love your recipes!! Thanks for the recipe it’s a keeper and Merry Christmas!
Can you substitute coconut oil for the vegan butter?
Hi Mia, I am not sure if I’ve tried it yet, but I do think it should work.
A+++. Oh these are good. I read all the reviews, checked my cupboard for ingredients (no Spelt) and subbed 1 cup ground oatmeal (flour) and 1/3 cup Whole Wheat Sprouted Einkorn flour. I also used an egg and kerigold butter and upped the cinnamon. They were SPECTACULAR! I will make them using your ingredient list when I restock my cupboards… but I am very appreciative that your recipe is very flexible and adapts easily to personal preferences.
They freeze well and are excellent with a cup of tea.
Thank you for such a wonderful recipe… these will at the ready in my freezer from now on.
Thank you for your journey, Angela. You’ve created something really beautiful from a life that’s had much difficulty. I hosted a 40th birthday party (30 people in my tiny house!) for a dear friend this spring and all of the dishes were your recipes. We didn’t know if the party would happen because this friend has cystic fibrosis and was on the transplant list – she could receive a call from Toronto General Hospital at anytime! The same friend had a double lung transplant six weeks ago. I’ve served/prepared your recipes for numerous meditation retreats and have created quite the name for myself! But…I always refer back to you and your cookbooks. I have struggled with mental illness for many years and often feel like I’m always “taking.” Helping others through their own difficulties by sharing food (easing at least one burden) has been something that’s come to mean so much to me. Thank you Angela!
Can you use fancy molasses instead of blackstrap? Couldn’t find blackstrap at the grocery store and I don’t know the difference!