These spiced molasses cookies have added applesauce to help keep the cookies moist, and whole-wheat flour and oats to incorporate whole grains.

Shyla Huber
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2009
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Ingredients

Rolling Sugar
Cookie Dough

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

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  • To prepare the rolling sugar: Pulse 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon orange zest in a food processor until well combined. Place in a shallow dish and set aside.

  • To prepare cookie dough: Grind oats in a blender until they look like a fine powder, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.

  • Beat butter and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons orange zest and beat another 2 minutes. Add molasses, applesauce, egg yolk, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, pepper and salt; beat on medium-high until incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

  • Turn the mixer to medium and slowly add the ground oats. Scrape down the bowl; with the mixer on medium, slowly add whole-wheat flour. (The dough will be moderately sticky.)

  • Using a slightly rounded tablespoon of dough, roll into balls, then roll in the rolling sugar to coat. (If necessary, wet your fingers to help roll without sticking.) The zest will make the mixture slightly wet and it will clump; lightly brush off the excess so that just a thin coat is on the cookie. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake the cookies in batches until the edges are set and the tops are cracked, but the centers are still soft and puffy, about 10 minutes.

  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 8 minutes. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

84.9 calories; protein 1.2g 2% DV; carbohydrates 15.9g 5% DV; exchange other carbs 1; dietary fiber 1.1g 5% DV; sugars 8.7g; fat 1.9g 3% DV; saturated fat 1g 5% DV; cholesterol 8.4mg 3% DV; vitamin a iu 53.4IU 1% DV; vitamin c 0.6mg 1% DV; folate 2.4mcg 1% DV; calcium 12.9mg 1% DV; iron 0.4mg 2% DV; magnesium 18.5mg 7% DV; potassium 77.5mg 2% DV; sodium 48.6mg 2% DV; thiaminmg 2% DV; added sugar 8g.

Reviews (25)

Read More Reviews
25 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 19
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
05/27/2015
good concept I would try these cookies again but I would not bake at 375 my first batch was a little burnt on the bottom. The second batch I turned the oven down to 350 and they were golden brown. Also I couldn't really taste the molasses and brown sugar. Next time I'll try it without the rolled oats and tweak the wet ingredients to see how that tastes. Pros: very soft and chewy. I liked the orange zest sugar. Cons: first batch slightly burned on bottom I've had better molasses cookies Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/11/2013
YUM what else to say? After I assembled all the ingredients I thought I may regret my endeavor but the steps and time was sooo worth it! Truth be told I'm no health nut especially when it comes to desserts but I've been known to sub applesauce for oil and I try to generally make good food decisions but never deny an indulgence. So what a surprise to have made some seriously tasty and just plain cute cookies with whole wheat flour no less! Unfortunately I completely underestimated my giant orange being enough for the required zest so I had to skimp on that. I ended up with maybe a couple teaspoons. That being said I'd shoot for one teaspoons in the rolling sugar and a heaping tablespoon in the dough. I used a small scooper to measure the dough and got about 54 cookies. I generally prefer a chewier cookie and these are quite cakey but no matter. I will be making these again and will (maybe) share. Such a sweet treat with tea or coffee. Pros: Flavorful cute Cons: Time consuming Read More
Rating: 4 stars
11/06/2013
These were delicious and I love the orange sugar. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
12/16/2012
A Holiday Mainstay Made exactly as written. Wore disposable gloves to roll into balls and then into orange-zest sugar. Made it super easy. Placed onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Cleanup was a breeze. My husband liked the subtle fresh hint of orange and the light fluffiness of the cookie (I.e. not a heavy cookie). Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/04/2012
Beautiful delicious and not bad for you can you beat it? These cookies are soft and sweet (though not too sweet) and a little spicy (but not hot spicy) -- I totally love them. I am a very reluctant baker but am also very sensitive and aware of the guilt that I get from my kids and husband about not being into baking. I mean there's the time and the mess and the effort and then I can't even really enjoy the product usually because I am ever vigilant about eating well. Needless to say I am willing to make (and eat) these cookies though usually only around Christmas time which is the only time that I bake anything. Take it from a lazy baker and obsessively healthy eater these cookies are winners. Pros: See title Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/03/2012
FANTASTIC!!!! I would definitely recommend making these cookies to anyone. They are fantastic!! If you cook them properly they are moist and tender. The flavor is great!!! Read More
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Rating: 2 stars
04/14/2012
Not the Best Molasses Cookie out there... I've had much better tasting molasses cookies. Maybe its all the pulverized oatmeal diluting the flavor or not enough spice flavor but to me these were kind of bland. Even with the orange zest in the dough and in the rolling sugar. They were extremely hard to roll I put the bowl in the fridge overnight and once hardened they were a little easier to roll. But all in all I won't make these again. There are much better tasting and easier-to-make recipes. Pros: slightly healthier look pretty Cons: dough is too hard to work with too time consuming Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/21/2012
Needs a little less cloves and I only used about 1 tbs of zest. I also used Stevia instead of granulated sugar and did not roll the cookies in anything. Wonderful! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
These cookies are awesome! They will be a new family favorite. I can't believe they're made with whole wheat flour. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made these cookies this past weekend and thwy are wonderful. So many flavors light and fresh. I see why this is a winning recipe. I am getting ready to make a double recipe for a halloween party. This is a new favorite for me also! 10-29-09 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Though a little labor intensive for a cookie they are well worth it. The taste and texture is extremely pleasing. This is a definite keeper! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I would add a bit more spice to them next time but otherwise they cooked well and the texture is amazing when baked. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
The taste and texture of these cookies really says "Holiday" fare! Yummy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
These do take a bit of work but are well worth it! I added a bit of cinnamon to the rolling sugar. Delicious! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Delicious!!!! Easy to make and will definitely be a new addition to my holiday baking. I will make them smaller next time for my cookies trays to people can sample more than one cookie! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I baked the first batch to send to my grandchildren. We all had to taste them as I had never made them before. Welllllllllll we ate the entire batch. These cookies are fabulous and the flavor of the orange rind is heavenly. I am now baking batch two and hope my family doesn't discover them before I have a chance to mail them. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
WoW! What a wonderful combination of spicy molasses and orange zest. This is a great variation on the standard molasses cookie. It looked super on my plate of Christmas cookies and tasted so much like a holiday treat. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I have made two batches of these heavenly delights and am now going to make batch three. These are the most delicious cookies I have ever had in my 73 years! If I were the judge I would have given these cookies the Grand Prize. I made all the winners and my family and friends voted Orange Spice Molasses cookies #1. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Just tried these and they are delicious-hard to believe theyare so healthy.The orange sugar idea will be something to adapt for other recipes.loretta Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Made these cookies today. They are so tasty. My husband loves them. I posted them on my facebook page so others can try them. Dixie Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
These are amazing! Hard to believe the nutrition info once you taste them. The batter is not something you'll want to lick out of the bowl but once baked they are one of my favorite molasses cookies ever. I followed the recipe EXACTLY - cooking time and then cooling time as written yielded a perfectly soft crumbly cookie. As others have said the orange sugar makes them special. And I thought the amounts of spices were ideal as written but then I used good quality and relatively fresh spices from Penzey's. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This is now my favorite all time cookie! I couldn't stop eating them! Thank you for the recipe I love the orange/spice flavor!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
All-around great cookie! This recipe is wonderful because it manages to create a healthy cookie which is soft plump pleasing to the eye and totally addicting! Love sharing these with friends. I usually have leftover orange sugar that is to die for when used in a fruit salad (especially berries) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Simply amazing These cookies are just plain amazing. They are delicious they stay soft and the best part - they're good for you! With all those whole grains applesauce and citrus. Unreal how tasty they are. A new favorite! Pros: Delicious! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Very flavorful Wow these are almost too flavorful! I think I could have definitely used less cloves and allspice.....but they are still tasty and it's nice that they are moderately healthy. I did leave the black pepper out already.....just seemed like a scary cookie ingredient for me. Read More