Sorghum Crinkle Cookies

Sweet and earthy sorghum syrup is the star ingredient in these warmly spiced treats.

  • Serves

    20 cookies

  • Cook

    1 hour 20 minutes


By Alline Anderson

Published on February 9, 2024

Sorghum syrup, a grassy-tasting sweetener that had its heyday in the Civil War era, is still produced in small batches throughout rural regions of the American Midwest and South, including Northeast Missouri. In this sorghum crinkle cookie recipe from Alline Anderson—co-owner of the Milkweed Mercantile, a solar-powered and straw-insulated bed-and-breakfast in Rutledge, Missouri—the sweetener’s earthy, nutty notes are balanced by the milder, caramelly flavor of brown sugar. Look for sorghum syrup at specialty grocers, or online.


  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. fine salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup softened shortening
  • ¼ cup sorghum syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup sanding sugar, for rolling the cookies


Step 1

Into a medium bowl, sift the flour and baking soda. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt and whisk together. 

Step 2

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, shortening, syrup, and egg until smooth and well combined, then scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is chilled and firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Step 3

Position one rack in the top third of the oven and one in the bottom third and preheat to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 4

To a small wide bowl, add the sanding sugar. Using your palms, roll a heaping tablespoon of the chilled dough into a 1½-inch ball. Dip one side of the ball into the sanding sugar, then place it sugared-side up on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat, leaving at least 2 inches between the cookies, until both baking sheets are full. (You should still have about half the dough left in the bowl.) Cover the remaining dough and return it to the fridge. Sprinkle each cookie with a few drops of water and bake until the cookies are just set and the tops are cracked, 10–12 minutes. Set aside to cool completely on the baking sheets, then repeat with the remaining dough. Serve at room temperature, or re-warmed in the oven. (Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

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