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The rich flavor of molasses combines with traditional spices to create a flavorful thin and crispy cookie. Unused dough may be stored in the refrigerator as long as a month. In fact, cookies are better if dough has "mellowed" for awhile.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 21 minutes


  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1-1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour


In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine vegetable shortening, brown sugar, molasses, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Heat until warm, mashing out any lumps. Remove from heat, and while still warm, stir in flour. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. When ready to bake, take what you need out of the refrigerator. (Unused dough may be stored in the refrigerator as long as a month. In fact, cookies are better if dough has "mellowed" for awhile.) Roll dough on a lightly floured surface, using as little flour as possible. Also flour rolling pin. Roll dough out paper thin and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 5 to 6 minutes or until light brown. After removing cookies from oven, with a clean soft cloth lightly brush off any excess flour. Let cool on cookie sheet and remove when you can handle them comfortably. Store in airtight containers.

Yield: Many!

Recipe Source: What's Cooking America by Linda Stradley and Andra Cook (Falcon Publishing Company)
Reprinted with permission.

User Reviews

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 1 out of 5
Something's Wrong, Member experiencedbaker

Years ago my ex-sister-in-law from North Carolina made Moravian cookies at Christmastime. I remember them as being very thin, crispy and delicious. This year I thought I'd go online to find a recipe. I tried this one. This recipe did not work at all. I'm going to try another Moravian cookie recipe-others don't call for cooking on a stovetop before baking. The cookie dough after cooling in the fridge overnight did not look like cookie dough at all. It was hard, dense, and very dark brown. I tried to roll it out anyway and bake. The oven was smoking within 3 minutes. I tried another tray of cookies-this time I didn't roll them ""paper thin"" and still they burnt black on the edges-again after only 3 minutes. I tried to eat one-ugh!- and invited my family to try them. Only my husband was brave. He told me to throw them away-and he HATES wasting food. The dough was so hard and dense it was extremely difficult to get it out of the bowl I had chilled it in. I rechecked what I did to the recipe and I followed it exactly as written. When cooking on the stovetop it got bubbly by the time I stirred in all of the ingredients--maybe it should be cooked on low and not medium heat. I'll keep searching because I know that Moravian cookies can be delicious.

25 out of 25 people found this helpful.

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