UBT Budget Bites: Dessert

We’re finishing off our Budget Bites series with something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

October 01, 2020
Ginger cookies with icing

We asked people across UBT to share their favorite meals on a budget — and now we’re sharing them with you! To wrap up Budget Bites, we’re headed to the kitchen to whip up a sweet treat: molasses sandwich cookies with spiced cream cheese icing — perfect for fall.

Most of this recipe’s ingredients are pantry staples aside from the molasses, cream cheese, and perhaps some spices, according to recipe author Tiffany from our Human Resources department. Another pro tip from Tiffany? If you don’t already have vanilla, Menards sells the cheapest (and best) vanilla extract.

Let’s dive in to the recipe and cost breakdown below.

Tiffany makes cookies


Molasses Sandwich Cookies with Spiced Cream Cheese Icing
Total cost: Without pantry staples, ~$25.52. With staples, one batch is $3.30 and $0.16/serving.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Total time: 18 minutes

Makes 20 sandwich cookies

Molasses cookies:

  • 2/3 C vegetable oil ($2.38/bottle – $0.26/recipe)
  • 1 C sugar, plus more for rolling ($0.29/recipe)
  • 1 egg ($0.08)
  • ¼ C molasses, light or dark ($3.24/jar – $0.54/recipe)
  • ½ t. salt
  • 2 t. baking soda ($0.02)
  • 1 t. cinnamon ($3.29/jar – $0.13/recipe)
  • 1 t. cloves ($4.94/jar – $0.24/recipe)
  • 1 t. ginger ($3.97/jar – $0.22/recipe)
  • 2 ¼ C flour ($0.25)
Ingredients for cookies


1. Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment.

2. In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, egg, and molasses, stirring until combined.

3. Add in salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Stir until combined. Gradually add in flour and mix until everything is combined. Do not refrigerate dough.

4. Roll 1 T. dough in sugar and press down lightly with a glass to flatten. Place cookies 1” apart on baking sheets.

5. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until cracks appear on top. Do not overbake! Cookies will appear underdone, but will set up as they cool.

Spiced cream cheese icing:

  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened ($1.46/package – $0.36/recipe)
  • ¼ C unsalted butter, softened ($0.27)
  • ½ t. vanilla ($4.89/bottle – $0.20/recipe)
  • 2 C powdered sugar ($0.44)
  • 1/8 t. cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of ginger

Beat together cream cheese and butter until combined. Beat in vanilla.

Slowly add powdered sugar. Once combined, add in cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Beat 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.

Pipe or frost icing on the flat side of one cookie and sandwich with another. Enjoy!

Ginger cookies with a bite taken out of them
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