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soft molasses cookie (grain free)If you see me today you will notice that I am unusually pale, my eyes a bit squinting and cautious. For that matter my voice is a little on the crackly side. I sound like an old tape recording and look like a ghost. Not a good look.

But before you think, “ah, poor sick Kellie,” I feel the need to confess. You see, I haven’t been struck down by a mystery illness. Not unless that illness is addiction to Netflix. Yup, I have been sat on my backside all weekend bingeing on the second series of House of Cards. I tried to eek it out, to savour the flavour of each deliciously outrageous episode. But I failed. I couldn’t have been more glued to the sofa if I’d been made of toffee.

Mr A has long given up on the show. Not because he doesn’t like it but because he couldn’t keep up the pace. I am a night waker/very early riser, and instead of rolling over and counting sheep (or alphabetising French boys names, or things you find in space – a good option for the insomniac) I have been sneaking episodes of House of Cards and guzzling them whole.

And now I am bereft. No longer will I have to grasp my open mouth to keep from shouting “No!!” (or perhaps something stronger), nor sit motionless on the sofa with a slumbering cat for company. It got so bad that I was bingeing during the day at weekends too. Hence the paleness. But alas, I have/we have to wait another year for more nail-gnawing action (well, talking) from Frank and co. Sigh. But at least I have found my muscles still work! I am such a bad example….

Luckily I didn’t have any of these cookies around. These are binge-worthy. I could definitely have mindlessly ploughed my way through a plate of these. That isn’t a recommendation though 🙂

I made these thinking of my Dad and his love for molasses cookies. He has a sweet tooth that he valiantly ignores for the most part, but I wanted to come up with a healthier version of this, his favourite cookie. He deserves a treat – and so do you, I’m sure.soft molasses crinkle cookies

With flavour, texture and health in mind I rummaged around and pulled out some chestnut flour – a fab sub for wheat flour in cookies, pancakes and bars – and a jar of raw sugar (coconut palm this time but it could have been sucanat). And that just left the fat.

Until recently I didn’t realise that such crinkle cookies are nearly always made with vegetable shortening. And I wasn’t having that health-offender in my cookie recipe. Yes, I know there are non-hydrogenated solid fats on the market, but I still can’t bring myself to trust them. In the same vein, even the ‘healthier’ raw sugars are still sugar and should ideally be eaten and enjoyed in moderation. PSA over with…

Anyway, as luck would have it, I have recently received a package from Maille. You know, the French mustard company. They make a lot more than mustard though, and as a UK food blogger I was recently invited to come up with a recipe or two with one of their ingredients for a contest. I love walnut oil so, from the huge list of mustards, oils and vinegars, that is what I choose. I have made a savoury dish (posting soon) but I thought that Maille walnut oil would be perfect here in this spice-rich, hearty cookie. How much nicer than solid vegetable fat! But use one of the other suggested fats if you can’t get this delicious, nutty oil. I have almost used up my bottle making salad dressing (although it is still too cold for much in the way of salads, sadly) but I’m glad I had enough for this baking recipe. I know this won’t be a winning recipe – far too simple and perhaps the chestnut flour is a step too far – but I will say that the walnut oil is delicious in these cookies.

As I have been sitting quite enough these days – and this robust study says why sitting is deadly – I shall move about a bit and go get some fresh air. And then I am going to do a fast. A Netflix fast. Wish me luck!

What’s your favourite cookie from childhood? Have you given it a makeover, or do you enjoy it as is? Are you hooked on any TV shows – critically-acclaimed or not? Can anyone recommend a good bronzing powder??

soft and chewy molasses cookie (grain free)

Soft and Chewy Molasses Crinkle Cookies (grain-free)

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These soft and chewy molasses cookies are not only refined-sugar free but also grain-free too! If you can’t get hold of the chestnut flour you may use baker’s spelt flour for a similar result. And, of course, most of you won’t be able to get the sorghum molasses but dark treacle is just fine. However sorghum is best if you have it.

One other note, do chill the dough. Otherwise the cookies will run all over the tray, and although they will taste fine the texture may not be. Just an hour will do. It is worth the small wait, I promise!

120g (1 cup) chestnut flour OR baker’s blend spelt flour (a 50:50 blend of refined and wholegrain spelt flours)

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cardamom (or crush the seeds of 2 green pods)

¼ tsp ground cloves

50g (1/4 cup) coconut sugar OR sucanat OR muscovado sugar

4 tbsp walnut oil, light olive oil, rapeseed oil OR coconut oil (I used 2 tbsp walnut oil and 2 tbsp organic rapeseed oil)

1 large egg white or medium egg

4 tbsp sorghum molasses OR dark treacle OR date syrup

Optional: extra sugar for either rolling the dough in, or sprinkling after baking.

1. Dry-whisk or sift the first six dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. I use a big balloon whisk.

2. In a separate bowl or large jug, use an electric whisk/beaters to blend the sugar, oil(s), egg and molasses until lighter in colour and thickened. This should take about three minutes of whisking on ‘high.’ Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until you have a sticky dough.Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator at least one hour, or even overnight if you like. This makes the dough easier to roll into balls but also helps with the actual integrity of the cookie.

3. When you want to bake either use a cookie scoop (I have seen these things but don’t have one) or use an oil-sprayed tablespoon and oil-sprayed hands to make walnut-sized balls of dough. They will be quite sticky but workable. If you wish, roll the balls into some sugar. Place each ball onto a baking parchment-lined or Silpat-lined baking tray – about 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. You will need two trays, or one that you cool down between batches.

4. Bake in an 180C/350F oven for between eight and nine minutes for a soft, chewy cookie. If you want them firmer – they do firm upon cooling though – take it up to 10, but no more. The cookies are ready when they have firmer edges and softer, crinkling middles.

5. Remove from the oven and keep them on the tray for a few minutes to firm up, then transfer with a spatula to a wire rack for further cooling.

Note: you can keep the covered, uncooked dough in the refrigerator for up to four days before baking, and frozen wrapped dough (roll into a rough cylinder and mark 12 even notches on it) for 3 months. For the frozen dough defrost until you are able to cut off pieces and roll.

soft and chewy molasses cookie (grain free)

study break for Miss R

soft and chewy molasses cookie (grain free)

Last year: Linguine with Spring Herbs, Chilli and Crab

Two years ago: Forager’s Fritters

Three years ago: Tuna and Creme Fraiche Pizza

Miss R’s track of the week: Heart and Soul by Scottish band Twin Atlantic

40 thoughts on “Soft and Chewy Molasses Crinkle Cookies (grain-free)

  1. David says:

    Aww, I’ m impressed that you remembered my love for these cookies.
    Remember those from TJ Maxx?

    1. Yes! I don’t want to think what might have been in them. Were they in the ‘healthy’ section? I also remember MUCH further back, before TJ MAxx. I wonder what those were? Pepperidge Farms? Anyway, get your one of your grandchildren to make these up for you, with spelt flour perhaps…

  2. These look superb and what a lovely set of ingredients!
    I’m a bit deprived though because we didn’t have cookies but we did have shortbread and I loved making them into ’rounds’ and stamping them with a special wooden shortbread stamper tool which pressed a thistle into the top and then we rolled the edges in demerara sugar 🙂 Its funny how its the ‘process’ we often remember isnt it.

    1. That is a great food memory that we Americans (even ex-pat ones) can only envy. But not begrudge! Fyi, you can get the chestnut flour at Real Foods now – hooray! Not the cheapest stuff but it is really nice to work with.

      1. I’m on the case, my ‘ears’ really pricked up when I read that on the list. I can taste this recipe from the list and I can see you have married the most fab ingreds together. Loving it. Thanks, will drop into Real Foods in the week.

      2. I wish I got royalties….I”d be able to afford more Coyo!

  3. They look so good and I am so intrigued by the flavor of the walnut oil!

  4. Although I’ve never been a huge fan of molasses cookies due to the actual molasses flavor, I like the looks of these. Do you think I could sub something like brown rice syrup for the molasses? I still love butter thumbprint cookies and My New Roots has a really good makeover of them.

    1. Oh that’s a great call, Katie! Yes, do that! I love a good thumbprint cookie too. I’ve got one on the index somewhere with just ground almonds, egg white and a little sugar – with a thumb of homemade raspberry jam, but I will look out the buttery one – and drool over her photos… Good suggestion on the brown rice syrup. Or even date syrup

  5. Huge fan of molasses and always on the lookout for ways to get it into my baking, so thanks for this! Funny side-note, I’ve been asked to take part in the same Maille challenge and requested the walnut oil or hazelnut oil hoping to use it in brownies or banana bread or some other baked good, but it was sold out… Glad at least some of it went to a good (healthy) (baked) home! 😉

    1. Thanks so much! So, what did you settle on? Have you posted your recipe yet? Sweet or savoury? Questions, questions 🙂

      1. I’ve gone for the red pepper and garlic mustard (my first pick of lemon and harissa was also out!) and the soy sesame vinaigrette – still waiting to receive them though as we had to go back and forth with my picks a few times as apparently I have the same taste as everyone else 😉 I’d love to think I could get something sweet out of those, but I think it’s more realistic to set my sweet tooth on something else!

      2. Those sound delicious! I loved those as condiments but I fancied the all-rounder usefulness of oils. I hope you get yours very soon. Thanks for commenting. Good luck!

      3. Yeah I love good oils, walnut oil and hazelnut oil are such a treat, they’d have me eating salads all day every day. Thanks and good luck to you too, looking forward to seeing more of your recipes!

  6. I think we are all trying valiantly to avoid sugar. It’s nice to have a few less sugar recipes in the arsenal.
    Glad you unglued yourself from the couch. I use Loreal self tanner on my Irish skin.
    Be well, Tracey

    1. I am unglued and contemplating a treadmill desk! Seriously! Guilt-free viewing/writing. And good call on the self-tanner 😉

  7. Oooooh, House of Cards! We only just started the second season last night, just watched the first episode and may I just say OMFG!!! I’ve not tried baking with coconut flour before, but I may have to seek some out, I’m intrigued by these cookies! I do love a ginger cookie, and I’ve got spelt flour kicking around, but if I see chestnut flour in my travels I’ll give these a go.

    1. Katie, you are in for some shocks and covered mouth gasps! So good! As for the chestnut flour, if you can’t find it and fancy some, let me know 😉 Love the stuff. But it is a bit similar in taste to brown rice flour (less gritty though) although the latter is a grain (doh)., so use that if that’s available. Thanks for dropping by,busy lady x

  8. cheri says:

    Had myself a little chuckle, cute post. Love the way these cookies look and the chestnut flour sounds very intriguing.

  9. Deena Kakaya says:

    Firstly, I laughed out loud at Katie’s excitement on the coconut flour, by I share the enthusiasm!

    Secondly, I am surprised to see a cookie recipe from you, but goodness they’re awesome! Deep, dark, and I bet they are very easy to eat 😉

    Do you think I can use jaggery instead of molasses? Xx

    1. Of course, sweetie. Jaggery would be excellent. Any raw sugar will do. They are not too sweet so right up my street. Just lovely and spicy 😉

      1. Deena Kakaya says:

        Well that’s excellent because I have jaggery in the house in plentiful proportions! Will give this one a go with the boy. Much love xx

      2. I hope you like it. Let me know x

  10. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Kellie, these crinkle cookies sound great, I’ve been wanting to bake some for ages… love the flavour combinations and know that they’ll be healthy! I’ve been sitting way too much as well, you’ve reminded me I need to get moving. Thanks for a great post! Pinned.

    1. Thanks Liz 😉 Happy to be pinned. You could do these as cocoa cookies too, with vanilla and chilli

  11. Where did you get chesnut flour? Did you just buy chestnuts from grocery stores and grind them at home? I made a grain-less chocolate chip cookies because and I
    almonds from grocery store and grind them at home.

    1. I’m not sure where you live but in the UK you can get Shipton MIll Chestnut flour. I imagine many good health food stores have it, but you can get it online through Shipton MIll or Real Foods. There are instructions online to make chestnut flour from scratch. I imagine there is some dehydrating and then fine grinding in a Vitamix or similar. Hope this helps! I haven’t tried these with almond flour but I’m thinking brown rice flour or coconut flour would be interesting

      1. I am from Canada. I have not seen chestnut flour but we have spelt flour and rice flour available. There are many rice flours available and I think it is interesting to see if you use glutinous rice flour.

      2. Hi again. Hmm, Canada. I always try and have alternatives for when folk can’t get all the ingredients and I would definitely say that spelt will be fine and dandy, and rice flour should be good also. My brown rice is not glutinous. Although I know that it is good for many other recipes I am not sure how it would be here. I hope that helps!

  12. What a cookie, I love the flavours you have used here. Walnut oil took me completely by surprise, such a good idea! I feel I need to get into the house of cards. We are on the first series but I am struggling with it even though i love Kevin Spacey and the acting is good although I am not convinced by Kevin;s wife, Sean Penn’s ex. I also love Netflix 🙂

    1. Re House of Cards, hang in there I suppose, but if it ain’t your thing, it ain’t your thing. I like political dramas so I am biased. As for the walnut oil, it does work in it, but so does plainer oils too.

  13. Love that show! And great photo.

  14. Chestnut flour-a-holic I am, I loved seeing this recipe! Pinned for baking days to come – thanks Kellie!

  15. Perfect cookies – so uniform – would be worthy of the Great British Cake Off and what a lovely, virtuous recipe, too. Inspirational, as ever, Kellie. Hope you enjoyed House of Cards! I have used walnut oil before and often use groundnut, too xx

  16. Sally says:

    Now more eager than ever to watch HOC. Printing this recipe out – teens on Easter hols…perfect.

  17. narf77 says:

    Lerve Mr Spacey 🙂 LERVE these cookies and they would be very easy to veganise 🙂

  18. This looks so delicious! I’ve never tried chestnut flour.

  19. Lovely looking cookies, and Miss R has great nails!

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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