Chinese Five Spice Molasses Cookies With Brown Butter Glaze

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  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Hands-on Time: 20 mins
  • Makes: 24 cookies

Traditionally used in savory dishes, Frontier’s Five Spice Powder brings the balance of yin and yang to kick up your molasses cookies and awaken all five tastes. Five spice powder is the result of Chinese philosophy representing the balance between the 5 main flavors of - sweet, sour, bitter, salty and pungent or umami. The brown butter glaze adds a bit of decadent sweetness that balances out the molasses and spices. This cookie recipe is sure to become a new favorite around the holidays or anytime you want to showcase umami flavor. (Thank you to our friend Stacey Swanson for creating this wonderful recipe.)


  • Cookie:

    2 1/4 cups of bread flour (330 grams) you can use all-purpose flour, but bread flour gives cookies a more chewy flavor *if you can, weigh your flour for the best possible outcome

    2 teaspoons of Frontier Co-op baking soda

    3/4 teaspoon of Simply Organic ground cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon of Frontier Co-op ground ginger

    2 teaspoons of Frontier Co-op five spice powder

    1/4 teaspoon of Frontier Co-op fine pink salt

    3/4 cup of softened (not melted) butter

    1 large egg

    1/4 cup of Wholesome organic molasses

    1 cup of Wholesome organic light brown sugar

    1/4 cup of Wholesome granulated sugar (for rolling the cookies)


    Brown Butter Glaze:

    1/4 cup of butter

    1 teaspoon of Frontier Co-op vanilla extract

    1.5 cups Wholesome organic powdered sugar

    1/8 cup of milk of choice to thin the glaze



    1. 375 degree oven.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper (8 cookies will go on each sheet).
    2. Cream the softened butter and light brown sugar with your mixer.  Add in the egg and beat until smooth.  Add in the molasses and mix til combined.
    3. Sift or whisk in a bowl the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, five spice powder & salt.  Once combined add to the butter/sugar/molasses mixture.  Stir until just combined, not over mixing.
    4. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
    5. Scoop roughly 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll that into a ball.  Place the ball in a bowl of granulated sugar and roll the ball of dough until coated.  Place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart and using your fingers just gently press the ball to flatten it slightly.
    6. Bake roughly 8-10 minutes.  Let cool on the pan for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

    Brown Butter Glaze:

    1. Heat the butter in a pan on low, stirring continually until it starts to foam.  Keep your eye on it and reduce the heat if you need to.  You want to cook the butter until you start to notice flecks of deep brown forming in the pan and the butter starts to get all nutty.  Remove from the heat immediately and pour the butter into a heat proof bowl making sure to scrape out all those nutty brown bits.
    2. Add in the vanilla and the powdered sugar and the milk to the brown butter whisking swiftly to combine.  You may need to use more milk of choice to thin out the glaze to the consistency you like.
    3. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.
    4. Because the glaze has fresh milk, please store the cookies in the refrigerator. After storing, allow them to come to room temperature before eating.

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