Combine the butter, sugar, molasses, spices, and orange rind in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, using a wire whisk. Add the cognac and stir, blending until mixture is smooth.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Drop mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, onto parchment-covered baking sheets. Space widely. Prepare only three snaps at a time because they harden fast once removed from the oven and are difficult to shape.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and let cool for a minute or so. Run a thin spatula all around the perimeter of one snap at a time to loosen the bottom completely. Quickly place the snap inside one of the ramekins and press down to mold cup shapes. Let cool. (If the snaps become hard before removing from baking sheet, return briefly to the oven.)
To mold the cups, you'll need three glass ramekins or custard cups, about 4 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep.