This Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies recipe produces soft cookies, with the perfect balance of molasses and peanut butter flavors, frosted with creamy peanut butter frosting and topped with chopped peanuts.
These may not seem like it, but they are kind of a Halloween cookie! I took inspiration from peanut butter kisses, the chewy peanut butter molasses flavored candies in orange and black wrappers. I remember having them as a child, but never knew what they actually were because the wrappers were brandless!
Sometimes you just want an easy drop cookie, like my Ranger Cookies, and sometimes you want a neater iced cut-out cookie, like my Lemon Meltaways. And then sometimes, you want something in between, which is where these come in. They are an easy drop style cookie, but are classed up by frosting and a peanut garnish.
These easy cookies use pantry staples and are a great way to use up leftover molasses after the holidays:
- unsalted butter
- dark brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- peanut butter
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- powdered sugar
- chopped peanuts
See recipe card for quantities.
Here’s how to make these cookies:
Beat together the butter and sugars. Add egg, vanilla and molasses.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, scoop dough balls and bake.
Make the frosting. Beat butter and peanut butter. Add vanilla, salt and powdered sugar. Add milk, if desired.
Pipe the frosting on the cooled cookies and garnish with chopped peanuts, if desired.
Good to know: Do not over bake the cookies. They are already dark because of the molasses so it can be hard to tell when they are done. So keep an eye on them towards the end of baking and remove them as soon as the tops are set to ensure your cookies stay moist and chewy.
Here are some easy ingredient swaps if you want to make these cookies vegan:
- Egg — use a vegan egg replacer like The Neat Egg
- Butter — use a vegan butter
- Milk — use almond or oat milk
I played around with how to decorate these to incorporate both flavors in the garnish, but ultimately left off molasses in the garnish. Here’s some variation ideas:
- Molasses drizzle — If you really love the taste of raw molasses, you can do a drizzle of it on top of the peanut butter icing.
- Molasses in the frosting — I was actually kicking myself for not doing this initially. I think this is a great way to incorporate molasses in the garnish without it being so punchy and raw.
- Chocolate chips — A little chocolate in the cookie would go great with the peanut butter and molasses flavors!
Do you have any other variation suggestions? Let me know in the comments!
I used a medium cookie scoop for these, because I wanted them to be a bit bigger than normal. You could also use a regular cookie scoop or just two spoons.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Raw cookie dough can be frozen for 3-4 months.
Cream the butter and sugar together for at least 3 minutes. This ensures the sugar is evenly distributed and creates micro pockets of air according to Serious Eats.
Lastly, if you make these Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating. I love to see when people make my recipes, so please tag me @youthsweets on Instagram if you post!
Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter (114g) room temperature
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar (100g)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (66g)
- ½ cup peanut butter (120g)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon molasses
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (120g)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (114g) room temperature
- ½ cup peanut butter (123g)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (187g)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare baking trays with parchment paper.
- Cream together butter, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter for 3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with beaters.
- Add egg, vanilla and molasses. Beat to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Add to the wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
- With a medium cookie scoop, scoop balls onto a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Bake 10-12 minutes, banging the tray near the end to help the cookies flatten.
- Remove and let sit on baking tray for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting
- Beat butter for 3-4 minutes until lighter in color and fluffy. Add peanut butter, vanilla and salt and beat to combine.
- Add powdered sugar in batches beating slowly to combine. Add milk and beat until fluffy.
- Pipe peanut butter frosting on top of the cooled peanut butter molasses cookies in a swirl pattern with a plain round tip.
- Top with chopped peanuts, if desired.