Molasses Masala Snap Cookies

A staple in my fall and winter cookie repertoire.

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Season: Fall, Winter
Dosha: Kapha, Pitta, Vata

Inspiration can come from anywhere. And in the case of these Molasses Masala Snap Cookies, inspiration came from a dress.

More specifically, a dress designed by my friend Juliette a curious cyclist + designer whose creations are meant to inspire confidence to move, create + enjoy freely, from the inside out. Which is actually exactly what I hope my creations will do for you; inspire you to create, move freely, powerfully and with purpose through the world…with cookies in your pockets.

But if I’m honest, the past few months had started to push me away from that inspiration. To a path of rigidity. Security. Rather than being a free-flowing creator, I had become an activator. But then, I connected with Juliette.

Food, Fashion and Cycling

I don’t think I realized just how much these things had in common. A lot, as it turns out. As Juliette + I shared our correspondence, the truth began to peek out for me again; there’s no singular recipe required to cook something (not even a cookie.) There’s no one way to create – whether it’s a beautiful dress or a beautiful meal. Cycling is made beautiful by the myriad ways we find to climb up and over the mountains. And the three became sweeter to me – and to Juliette – by seeing the thread woven between them.

Settling in the desert, in one of Juliette Fabbri’s magnificent frocks.

Juliette sent me with one of her gorgeous dresses when I retreated to Wonder Valley; a voluminous, free-flowing frock cut from menswear fabrics, designed to be lived in. I was somewhat skeptical about what I would find in the desert; an empty, harsh place filled with dust, cactus + vastness. Heavy hiking boots, sturdy pants, and a hardy spirit seemed more suitable for such an escape. But, in fact, this softly shaped beauty of a dress was the perfect uniform for swirling through the desert for a week. The experience of being there was gentle. Slow. Sunny. And I have Juliette’s dress to thank for much of that.

Straying from my standard recipe

My days in Wonder Valley were simple. Wake. Stretch. Breathe. Bundle up. Go for a walk. Admire the rocks, the mountains, the sunshine. Take a book, write some notes. Unbundle, sit in the sun. Soak up the quiet. Slowly, layers of a long, challenging year sloughed off, reminding me that I don’t need much to find happiness and clarity. And, that my own personal and professional lives were not, in fact, roads most traveled. I didn’t need validation from others, or a checklist to tell me where I was going. And I frankly didn’t even need pants. Just a golden dress to layer on and float around in.

The things we wear, the expectations we set, and the maps we are following are ours to change at any time. With only ourselves to answer to. I invite challenge and have a lot of hardiness in my life. I create recipes – roadmaps for others to explore flavors and foods. What I needed more of in my world permission to be free-flowing. Rather than being tied up by my own apron strings, the dress unlocked me from my expectations, reminding me that it is ok to stray from my standard recipe. And maybe even to write a radically new one.

Writing a new freeing formula

I came home with my hair a bit more golden than when I’d left, my eyes a bit brighter, and my appetite bigger. I came home with a few new practices to keep things flowing – freely, freshly – too. After a week away from the kitchen, I couldn’t wait to dive in, and specifically to bake. I quickly realized that while I had everything I needed in the desert, I didn’t have everything I needed to make my favorite triple ginger cookies; specifically a healthy supply of cinnamon and ginger.

Finding a new way forward.

What I did have was an abundance of homemade grounding masala on hand from all of the lentil stews I’ve been making this fall. A sultry homemade spice mix, spiked with black pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cardamom, and smoothed with rose petals. It felt like the perfect way to spice up a little cookie. I was right. And a new direction into cookie bliss was born.

So, these Molasses Masala Snap Cookies

…are going to be a staple in my fall and winter cookie repertoire. Because they represent everything I ever want to remember about being creative, being free, and carving the most beautiful (and delicious) path forward.

And, if you’re considering reshuffle priorities for yourself (as I was in the desert,) check out Juliette’s blog where we chat about cycling, competition, living well, performing better, and a few other lessons from this gorgeous patch of desert.

Happy baking, shape shifting and swirling through these next weeks!

Recipe Notes

  • Make your own Grounding Masala Powder: I strongly suggest making your own homemade masala here. It’s a great spice mix to employ in this kitchari, this soup and pretty much anywhere else you want to add some sultry intrigue. If you don’t have any homemade masala, you could use garam masala as well.
  • Gluten-free: For those looking to make the cookies gluten-free, I recommend using a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour mix.
  • Vegan: For those looking to make these Molasses Masala Snap Cookies without butter or eggs, I recommend using vegan egg replacer and vegan butter as well. Miyokos makes my favorite vegan butter (not an ad, just the truth!)
  • Texture + portability: Bake the cookies a little less if you love a chewy, soft cookie as I do. If you’re looking for a sturdier cookie that will stand up to a pocket or a pack, bake them a bit longer.
  • Equipment: A mortar + pestle for making homemade Masala mix in a snap! For portioning cookies a small cookie scoop makes perfect portions.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Flavor Notes

Flavors are FUN, yes, but they also are the mechanisms by which our bodies nourish themselves. Flavors basically tell our bodies what the food is giving us – on a nutritional and energetic level. Our bodies then prepare enzymes to break those components down, assimilate them, and turn them into fuel for our vibrant lives. We can’t eat just one flavor and get all of the things we need, so learning to track the flavors in our foods helps us to be sure that we’re really getting all of the things we need in our meals. This particular recipe has five of six flavors. The more flavors we can enjoy in any meal or food, the happier and more balanced our bodies will be. If you’re wanting to learn more about how the flavors we eat fuel our bodies – energetically and nutritively, check out this little blog post.

  • SWEET: fennel seeds, rose petals, cardamom, coconut sugar
  • SALTY: Kosher salt
  • SOUR: N/A
  • BITTER: coriander, molasses
  • ASTRINGENT: black pepper
  • PUNGENT: turmeric, cardamom, cumin, cloves, ginger

Molasses Masala Snap Cookies

A staple in my fall and winter cookie repertoire.

makes 30 cookies


Active Time: 30 minutes


Serves: cookies


for the Grounding Masala Powder:

  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp edible dried rose petals
  • 1 tsp whole cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp whole black peppercorns

for the cookie dough:

  • 2 cups whole grain all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Grounding Masala Powder (SEE INCLUDED RECIPE)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice OR granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark unsulphered molasses
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • turbinado OR sanding sugar (for finishing)


  • 1Make Grounding Masala Powder

    Combine all of the spices in a spice grinder or coffee mill and buzz until a fine powder forms. Transfer to an airtight container. Clean the grinder with uncooked rice to make sure you don’t accidentally make coffee with the flavor of the seeds and spices in it! Use the masala powder in these cookies, and also anywhere you would use curry powder, garam masala or an exotic spicy mix!

  • 2Get it all ready

    Preheat the oven to 375°F with the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  • 3Make the dough

    In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the molasses, egg, melted butter and sugars. Stir until the mixture is well incorporated, rich in color and thick without any streaks of egg or butter.

    Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Stir until there aren’t any dry patches of flour, but be careful not to overmix the dough here!

    If the dough is sticky at this point, chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. If not, proceed to the next step.

  • 4Finish + bake

    Pour some sanding sugar or turbinado sugar (1/2 cup will do) in a wide bowl. Scoop the cookie dough out by the tablespoon full (or use a small cookie scoop.)

    Roll the dough into small balls, then roll in the sugar to coat. Place the sugar coated dough ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all of the dough, spacing 2″ apart on the sheet to allow the cookies to spread!

    Bake the cookies until they rise, crack and fall again. The edges will be barely golden – 6-8 minutes. If you like soft cookies, check them at 5-6 minutes! Allow the cookies to cool completely on the sheet pan before eating/storing. Enjoy!

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