Spiced Chocolate Molasses Buttons

Photo by Leigh Beisch
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  • Makes about 4 dozen cookies
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  • Total Time

These make a great holiday cookie—a hit with the chocolate lovers, the spice cookie lovers, and those who are drawn to the prettiest of the cookie tin contenders. This cookie gets a double hit of raw sugars: sticky dark muscovado in the dough and a roll through turbinado sugar that adds crunch and a naturally glittering finish around a puddle of bittersweet chocolate ganache. (This recipe is excerpted with permission from Real Sweet by Shauna Sever, William Morrow copyright © 2015)


  1. Check 1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  2. Check 6 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  3. Check 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. Check 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. Check 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  6. Check 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  7. Check 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  8. Check 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  9. Check 1/4 cup firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
  10. Check 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  11. Check 1 large egg
  12. Check 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  13. Check 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, for coating the cookies
  14. Check For the chocolate filling:
  15. Check 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cacao)
  16. Check 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  17. Check 1/2 teaspoon unsulphured molasses


  1. Make the cookie dough: Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine butter, muscovado sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and, using an electric mixing, beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, or until the mixture is noticeably lighter in color, fluffy, and latte-like in color. Beat in the egg until completely absorbed. Beat in the molasses until well blended.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended and even in color. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to bake, position the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. To form the cookies, pour the turbinado sugar onto a plate. Scoop up the dough 1 tablespoon at a time and roll into balls. Roll each dough balls in the turbinado sugar, coating them completely. Place on the prepared baking sheets, evenly spacing them with 1 dozen cookies per sheet.
  5. Bake the cookies until they are set on the edges, but still very soft in the centers, about 10 minutes. Quickly pull the sheets from the oven and, using your thumb, a spoon with a very deep well (like a melon baller), or a thick-handled wooden spoon, make a deep indentation in the center of each cookie. Return cookies to the oven to finish baking, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  6. Make the filling: Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring well, until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Transfer the ganache to a small resealable freezer bag and work it toward the corner of the bag. Snip off a tiny bit at the corner of the bag. Pipe a bit of ganache into the well in the center of each cookie. Let the cookies rest at room temperature until the ganache is firm, about 1 hour.

Cookies will keep in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.


(This recipe is excerpted with permission from Real Sweet by Shauna Sever, William Morrow © 2015)