Foxfire Molasses Cookie Recipe- A Delicious & Old-School Lard Cookie Recipe

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Foxfire Molasses Cookie Recipe

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Foxfire molasses cookie recipe cookies fresh from the oven
Fresh from the oven, the classic Foxfire molasses cookie

The other day I was flipping through the Foxfire Book in pursuit of a recipe (or at least inspiration) for dinner.

Instead of dinner I found soap-making and baked goods- among so many other neat things.

This Foxfire Book is the first in a series of 13 fantastic books. Published in 1972, it features interviews from people living in Appalachia who had the skills and lived a life that epitomized an older, more connected way of living off the land.

In addition to a chapter of recipes, the book contains in depth information on building a log cabin, making a wooden chair and rope bed, moon shining, planting to the signs of the moon, hog butchering, soap-making, “and other affairs of plain living.”

(I’ve only purchased the 1st and 3rd books in the series so far, but I know many homesteaders who own the entire collection and swear by them. You can find individual books on Thriftbooks (here) or Amazon (here) for a few dollars apiece, or the entire collection for $268 on Amazon (here).)

The foxfire book cover
The Foxfire Book in all of its vintage glory

From a dried apple cake to a 100+ year old gingerbread recipe, the “Mountain Recipes” chapter left me inspired and curious.

All the recipes call for lard- when did that change?

Why isn’t there much sugar in here?

How come some recipes have specific measurements and others are just a method?

What’s a hot oven?

I found a molasses cookie recipe in the chapter too. Molasses, lard, egg, sugar, etc… roll, cut, and bake. It really seemed too easy. But it stuck in my mind.

Molasses Crinkles are my absolute, no-debate, favorite cookie. So this old school, Foxfire molasses cookie recipe from a book I’ve loved reading really caught my eye. What if this is my new favorite cookie?

I spent all weekend (a long weekend at that, thanks to this Tahoe-esque snow storm) thinking about this recipe. Torn if I wanted to give it a try- risking a serious overeating day- or not. In the end, the curiosity won out.

And the result really was delicious.

Original Foxfire molasses cookie recipe text
Original recipe text

Foxfire Molasses Cookie Recipe

The original Foxfire Molasses Cookie recipe is as follows:

1 cup Molasses

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg

3/ 4 cup Melted Lard

1/ 4 cup Boiling Water

Salt, “to taste”

Add enough flour to knead. Roll, cut out, and bake in hot oven.


That’s enough of a recipe for me. I’m trying to embrace cooking by feel more and more these days. The freedom of “to taste” and “enough” flour are inviting and charming to me.

But I also know that many people aren’t comfortable enough in the kitchen to cook without measurements. So I decided to measure how much flour I used, as well as the salt, and some extra seasonings I added in.

Plus that whole “hot oven” thing? I mean, any oven turned on at all is hotter than room temperature isn’t it? I opted for 350*, but I’m not saying that’s hard and fast in any way.

Cooled foxfire molasses cookies
Cooled cookies ready for icing

The resulting recipe, which should probably be called “My Take on the Foxfire Molasses Cookie Recipe Recipe,” looks like this:

1 cup Molasses

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg

3/ 4 cup Softened Lard

1/ 4 hot water

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Ginger

½ tsp each Allspice & Nutmeg

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

2 3/ 4 cup Whole Wheat Flour


After baking and letting them cool, I added a basic icing drizzle with powdered sugar and milk too.

All in all, these cookies are pretty good. Not too sweet, not too crisp, and overwhelmingly molasses-flavored (yum!).

The best part was that this batch of dough came together to make about 5 dozen little cookies.

I foresee making these again around Christmas and taking the time to really decorate them for the season.

If you like a good, classic cookie, might I suggest giving this Foxfire Molasses Cookie Recipe a try?

Foxfire molasses cookies with icing
Iced Foxfire Molasses Cookies

Foxfire Molasses Cookie Recipe

My take on a classic molasses cookie recipe from The Foxfire Book.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American


  • Mixing bowl, measuring glass, measuring cup, rolling pin, cookie cutter
  • Cookie sheet, cooling rack
  • Spoon, spatula


  • 1 Cup Molasses
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Cup Softened Lard
  • 1/4 Cup Hot Water
  • 1 tsp Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger Each
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice, Nutmeg Each
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • Flour Additional for rolling
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • Tbsp Milk As needed


  • Preheat Oven to 350*
  • Combine the egg, molasses, brown sugar, lard, and water. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add the salt, seasonings, and flour to the molasses mixture. Stir thoroughly, adjusting flour measurement as needed.
  • Dust countertop with flour.
    Roll out dough, in pieces as needed, to approx. 1/4 " thickness.
    Cut out cookie shapes, re-rolling extra dough until all dough has been cut out.
  • Arrange cut out dough on cookie sheet. Cookies will not spread and can be quite close together.
  • Bake for 7 minutes. Cookies will be set, not browned or puffy, once baked.
  • Move cookies to rack to cool.
  • In measuring cup, combine the powdered sugar and milk to make a thin icing.
  • Drizzle or spread icing over cooled cookies.
  • Enjoy!


You can substitute the flours for all all-purpose, all whole wheat, or whatever kind or combination you prefer.
The spices are optional, but I think they lend to the flavor.
Icing is also optional, but improves the taste and appearance.
Cookies can be stored in the freezer without harm.
Keyword cookies, traditional

Thanks for reading, and happy homesteading!



PS Want to try the other molasses cookies I mentioned? You can find that recipe here.

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