Low Fat Chia Bran Muffins | An Old Classic Made Extra Healthy

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia.

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia. 

I’m very good at buying super healthy foods. But then they often sit in my cupboard, or at the back of the fridge, out of sight and out of mind.

I have a package of chia that has been in my cupboard for ages. I stir a spoonful into my porridge from time to time but that’s about it.  I never did get into chia pudding (I’m not wild about the texture) so my progress through the package has been slow.

That’s why this recipe for chia bran muffins caught my eye.

Chia Bran Muffins are a light-textured classic made better (in a healthy sort of way) with the addition of chia.

It’s a classic bran muffin recipe. Made with natural bran and buttermilk so the muffins have a lovely light texture. The recipe gets extra nutrition from a few tablespoons of chia seeds. These muffins are low in fat and have no refined sugar.

It goes to show that making our favourite foods a little more healthy is easier than you think.

The recipe is slightly adapted from New York Times Food.

Chia Bran Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 ¾ cups boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups natural bran (also called baker’s bran)
  • 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup canola or grape seed oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Place the raisins in a medium bowl and pour over the boiling water. Let sit 5 minutes, then stir in the bran and the chia. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and molasses. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in the raisin and bran mixture and combine well.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture and combine well. (Batter can be refrigerated overnight).
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin pans.
  6. Fill muffin cups and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the muffin tops feel firm to the touch and are puffed and browned.
  7. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Nutritional info: Per muffin. Calories: 165.6, Fat: 5.8 g, Saturated Fat: .7g, Cholesterol: 22.2 mg, Carbs: 25.3 g, Sugar: 7.5 g, Sodium: 202.7 mg, Fibre: 4 g, Protein: 4.8 g, Potassium: 308.2 mg, Calcium: 83.5 g

 

 

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites

 

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites: A wholesome, sweet treat filled with chia, flax, hemp and more.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites: A wholesome, sweet treat filled with chia, flax, hemp and more.

Sometimes you need a sweet treat that feels wholesome. After nibbling through chocolates and ice cream on Valentine’s Day, the craving for sweets doesn’t disappear and if anything, it gets a little stronger, especially with my kids. That’s why it’s good to have sweet snacks on hand that are healthy and satisfying, like these Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites. They hit the spot, are filling and full of good stuff. And I almost forgot – they’re gluten-free too.

My daughter, who often makes a conscious effort to complain about healthy food, devoured each and every peanut butter energy bite that I rolled in coconut. I preferred the bites rolled in cocoa powder and almond flour.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites: A wholesome, sweet treat filled with chia, flax, hemp and more.

This recipe lends itself to endless variations. You could use different nut or seed butters and change up the quantities of chia, flax meal and hemp, all depending on what you have in the cupboard. Another option is to swap the honey for maple syrup if you’d like a brighter sweet flavour.

To make these school friendly, substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites will last for a week in the fridge.

This recipe is slightly adapted from the blog Family Bites.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Makes 18 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Shredded coconut, almond flour or cocoa powder for rolling (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until they come together. Scrape into a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop the mixture and shape it into balls. Roll in your preferred coating or leave plain.
  3. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Nutritional info*:

Per ball: Calories: 88.4, Fat: 4.8 g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbs: 10 g, Sugar: 4.8 g, Sodium: 2.3 mg, Fibre: 1.5 g, Protein: 2.6 g, Potassium: 110 mg, Calcium: 16.7 g

*This nutritional analysis is incomplete. It does not include nutritional impact of hemp seeds or any coating, if used.

A Decadent and Easy Chocolate Tart Recipe

A decadent and easy chocolate tart recipe that tastes delicious warm or at room temperature.

A decadent and easy chocolate tart recipe that tastes delicious warm or at room temperature. 

Chocolate and molasses is a magical combination. Just a bit of molasses can intensify that taste of good, dark chocolate but it gives chocolate a nice balance too, adding flavour notes of it’s own.

(We have a whole eBook dedicated to chocolate and molasses.)

A decadent and easy chocolate tart recipe that tastes delicious warm or at room temperature.

This is a lovely pastry recipe and fairly easy to make. I made mine with half whole wheat flour for more flavour and because I love to tuck wholemeal flour into my baking.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Ricardo Cuisine. (I changed up the flour in the crust, added a bit of molasses and reduced the sugar in the filling.)

Easy Chocolate Tart Recipe

Ingredients:

Crust:

  •  1 cup flour (can use half whole wheat)
  • 2 Tbsp. icing sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 Tbsp. cold butter, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. plain yogurt

Filling:

  • 5 ½ oz (150 g) 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. all­-purpose flour

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse until it’s pea-sized. Add yogurt and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball, kneading a few times if there is still flour to incorporate.
  2. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough and fit into a rectangular tart pan or an 8” or 9” spring form pan. (If using a spring-form pan ensure the dough comes up the side 1 ½”.) Prick the dough with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake tart shell for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly.

Filling:

  1. While the tart shell is baking, melt the chocolate with the cream in a double boiler or in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the brown sugar, molasses and eggs. Stir in the flour and whisk just until incorporated.
  3. Pour into the crust and bake about 12 minutes (until the filling is set at the edges but still soft in the centre).  Don’t overbake.
  4. Serve the tart hot or warm.

 

6 Recipes for Brownies and Blondies

6 irresistible recipes for brownies and blondies

According to the Fanny Farmer Cookbook (from the Boston Cooking School) the original brownies were molasses squares and had no chocolate in them at all!

There is much written about the origin of what we now know as brownies (made with chocolate) and recipes for classic chocolate brownies have made there way onto many lists of favourite baked treats.

I love brownies and blondies for their one-pan simplicity. They’re easy to make (my kids have our favourite recipe mastered) and are a multi-purpose sort of treat.

There is no shortage of recipes for brownies and blondies  on this website. Most contain chocolate in some form or another and because they also contain molasses our recipes tend to be on the fudgy side.

If you’re craving a homemade fudgy brownies or blondies, especially as Valentine’s Day approaches, here are six recipes to get your mouth watering.

6 Recipes for Brownies and Blondies

One-Bite Molasses Brownies:

Easy and fudgy, this is the recipe my kids have mastered.

One bite molasses brownies

Zucchini Brownies with Molasses and Flax:

A moist and tasty brownie that’s on the wholesome side.

Zucchini Brownies with molasses and flax.

Molasses Oat Blondies:

We use this recipe as the basis for our Oven-Baked S’Mores Brownies.

Molasses Oat Blondies for Oven-baked S'Mores

Chewy Gingerbread Blondies:

These are intense and chewy, with lots of spice.

chewy gingerbread blondies

Brown Butter Molasses Blondies:

Browning the butter is an extra step but worth it. This recipe makes a large pan too.

IMG_0019 crop 2 featured image

Chocolate Almond Brownies:

A gluten-free option that isn’t too sweet. Extra easy to make.

gluten free chocolate almond brownies

 

 

20 Gluten-Free Baking Recipes in a Free EBook

20 Gluten-free baking recipes in a free eBook

Brownies, granola bars, banana bread and more gluten-free baking recipes.

It’s easier than you think to make wholesome gluten-free snacks and treats. As long as you have a stash of good recipes and a few extra ingredients in your pantry you’ll be able to make gluten-free versions of many of your favourite foods.

Molasses is your friend when it comes to gluten-free baking. It helps to retain moisture in baked goods so improves the texture of your gluten-free treats. Molasses also pairs well with other natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.

Whether avoiding gluten is a necessity or a preference (or both) you’ll enjoy the recipes in this eBook. They’re simple, wholesome and great for the whole family.

20 Gluten-Free Baking Recipes:

20 Gluten free baking recipes in a free eBook

 

Gluten-free flour blend:

Make your own gluten-free flour blend with these three ingredients: 4 cups fine brown rice flour, 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not potato flour), 2/3 cup tapioca flour. Whisk together and store in an airtight container. (From the excellent cookbook, The Allergen-Free Baker’s handbook, by Cybele Pascal.)

Baking Tip: Improving the texture of your gluten-free baked goods

  • If you’re baking gluten-free quick breads (muffins, biscuits & tea breads) add ½ tsp. of xanthan gum or guar gum for each cup of GF flour used.
  • If you’re adapting recipes that call for all-purpose flour, recipes containing fruit or vegetable purees (ex. apple sauce or canned pumpkin) adapt well to gluten-free flour since the added moisture from the puree helps with the texture of the finished baked goods. Molasses helps to keep GF baked goods moist too.

About rolled oats:

Choose certified gluten-free rolled oats if you can’t tolerate any gluten since conventional rolled oats are often cross-contaminated by gluten-containing grains. (For those of you who can tolerate gluten and are simply trying to eat less wheat and enjoy a greater variety of grains, conventional rolled oats may be fine.)

Looking for more gluten-free recipes? Try this easy recipe for chewy almond cookies

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

5 Simple & Satisfying Super Bowl Recipes

 

5 Simple Super Bowl Recipes

Game Day ideas for comfort food fans

In search of something new to feed your Super Bowl fans this year? Here are 5 simple Super Bowl recipes for finger food and a hearty chili recipe that will keep everyone content around the TV this Sunday. Load up on the napkins, you’re going to need them.

There is no shortage of options for Super Bowl-worthy food that suits all tastes and temperaments.

If you want (or need) to stray from the traditional football food, but you still want simple Super Bowl recipes, try these other options below:

5 Simple Super Bowl Recipes:

Asian-inspired Sticky Wings

A sticky wing recipe made extra flavourful with sesame oil, garlic and fresh ginger.

Asian-inspired chicken wings are easy, sticky and delicious

Spicy Rum Wings

A fiery sweet-with-heat recipe with lots of garlic. I mean, LOTS of garlic.

Molasses rum chicken wings

Oven-Baked Ribs

A one-pot sweet and sour ribs recipe that is effortless and delicious. Part of the secret to the marinade is orange juice.

effortless oven baked spareribs

Sweet & Sour Chicken Drumsticks

A drumstick version of the oven-baked ribs recipe above. This chicken becomes fall-off-the-bone tender as it bakes. And because you remove the skin before baking the dish is a little healthier too.

Pilons de poulet aigres-doux

Black Bean Turkey Chili

This is a simple and substantial meal that suits those in search of a healthier option for their Super Bowl eats. Serve with nacho chips for dipping.

Black bean turkey chili combines some sweet with heat.

Top 10 Molasses Recipes of 2016

Top 10 molasses recipes of 2016

Did you discover any new family favourite recipes last year?

Having a good stash of wholesome recipes is the key to eating well. Whether you love to cook or or just love to eat, creating a list of go-to recipes can make life a whole lot easier.

If you want to create, or grow, a great list of recipes, searching out popular recipes is one place to start. In any “Top 10” list of recipes you’re bound to find at least a couple that catch your eye.

These are the 10 most-viewed recipes of 2016 on this website. May be you’ll discover a new favourite among them.

Top 10 Molasses Recipes of 2016

Healthy Blueberry Bran Muffins

This was a new recipe from last January, discovered in an Ina Garten cookbook. It marries two of my muffin favourites – bran and blueberries.

blueberry bran 8 sm

Effortless Oven-Baked Ribs

This is a recipe that I grew up with and it really is extra simple. (And delicious.)

oven baked spareribs

Oatmeal Brown Bread

Another recipe that I grew up with and the perfect accompaniment to baked beans.

oatmeal brown bread - Mom's

Sticky Toffee Pudding

This is the most decadent recipe on the list and a dessert worthy of a special occasion and a Saturday night with friends.

sticky toffee pudding with rich toffee sauce

Healthy Gingerbread Muffins

Beautifully spiced and not too sweet (refined-sugar-free) these muffins are a satisfying snack.

healthy gingerbread muffins

Ginger Chicken Kabobs

A family-friendly supper idea that suits any season. Extra easy too.

ginger chicken kabobs

Sarah’s Molasses Brown Bread

Another classic oatmeal brown bread recipe. This bread is simple to make requires only one rising.

molasses brown bread is chewy and sweet, richly flavoured with molasses

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

This is the gingerbread recipe I grew up with and still my favourite. It’s from the classic, The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook.

old fashioned gingerbread recipe

6-Week Refrigerator Bran Muffins

The easiest way to have fresh muffins on the fly. This is a light textured bran muffin, made with natural bran not bran cereal.

six week refrigerator bran muffins made with natural bran

Baked Beans with Sass

Another recipe that I grew up with (slightly adapted). It’s also based on a recipe from The Laura Secord Cookbook.

Fèves au lard à la mélasse

Easy Almond Cookies are Healthy and Delicious

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

Easy almond cookies have it all: great flavour and texture, low in carbs and calories, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, Paleo.

The original title of this recipe is The World’s Easiest Cookies and they came by that name honestly. With just five ingredients (in my slightly adapted version) easy almond cookies take all of five minutes to mix up, the dough needs no chilling and they bake in 12 minutes flat.

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

Once cooled, easy almond cookies have a lovely chewy texture and wholesome substance.  Thanks to the ground almonds they feel more filling than many cookies and they’re also more nutritious (along with being low in calories and fat). But they still taste like real cookies.

One more thing, easy almond cookies are also gluten-free so a nice treat for those of you who are in a constant search of decent cookies free of gluten.

As well, they contain no refined sugar.

Easy almond cookies have a chewy texture and wholesome substance. They're gluten-free, refined-sugar free, paleo and taste like real cookies.

My son is crazy about these cookies so they make a great after-school treat (or a little after-supper sweet).

This recipe is just slightly adapted from the terrific recipe website The Kitchn.

Easy Almond Cookies

Makes 18 cookies

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 3 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the almond flour and baking powder together. Stir in the molasses, maple syrup and vanilla and mix until well combined (batter will be sticky).
  3. Scoop dough into a tablespoon measure and roll into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, an inch apart.
  4. With the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, lightly flatten the tops of the cookies.*
  5. Bake until the cookies are set and the bottoms are golden, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the pan and then remove to a rack.

*For crisp cookies, flatten the dough balls into discs with the bottom of a glass before baking. Adjust baking time accordingly.

Nutritional info:

Per cookie: Calories: 46, Fat: 1.3 g, Saturated Fat: .1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbs: 6 g, Sugar: 3.2 g, Sodium: 10.2 mg, Fibre: 0 g, Protein: 2.8 g, Potassium: 140.6 mg, Calcium: 40.9 g

 

Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Sausage an Easy One-pot Meal

Slow cooker baked beans with sausage: an easy one-pot meal for a winter day. Choose your favourite type of sausage for this recipe (pork, chicken, turkey).

Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Sausage is a one-pot meal that’s ready when you are.

The first week back to school after the Christmas break is always a challenge. It’s like September all over again, complete with groggy kids and the effort of getting everyone back into a routine. Throw in a snow storm and an early morning orthodontist appointment and we’re all spent before the week is half over.

That’s why I’m smitten with the slow cooker.

Slow cooker baked beans with sausage: an easy one-pot meal for a winter day. Choose your favourite type of sausage for this recipe (pork, chicken, turkey).

On a chilly January day it’s a relief to arrive home after a busy day with supper pretty much cooked. With just 10 minutes of simple prep in the morning this recipe for slow cooker baked beans has just one easy step remaining before supper’s on the table. The beans have all day to cook in their flavourful sauce and then you simply lay the sausage on top to cook and release extra flavour into the bean mixture. Prep a basic salad and you’re all set.

Slow cooker baked beans with sausage: an easy one-pot meal for a winter day. Choose your favourite type of sausage for this recipe (pork, chicken, turkey).

No bean soaking required

I use canned white beans for this recipe to avoid the planning and time required to soak beans from dry and pre-cook them. If you’d prefer to use dried beans in this recipe be sure that they’re fully cooked before you add them to the slow cooker. This recipe calls for just 1 1/2 cups of water which isn’t enough for partially cooked beans.

This recipe is a contemporary riff on old time beans & wieners. It works with all of your favourite sausage flavours. I have made it with garlic and herb sausage, spicy chorizo and a low fat sun dried tomato. The spicy version is my favourite.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Sausage

(No soaking of beans required)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 540 ml cans of white beans (white kidney (cannellini) or navy beans)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce or Worcestershire Sauce (use gluten-free is necessary)
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. flour
  • 4-6 sausage

Instructions:

  1. Drain and rinse beans. Add onion, carrot and garlic to slow cooker. Scatter over beans.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk molasses, sugar, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, salt & water. Pour over beans, cover and cook on medium 6-8 hours.
  3. Whisk in flour, puncture sausages and lay them on top of the beans. Cover and continue cooking until sausages are cooked through, 30-40 minutes.
  4. Slice sausage before serving.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. .

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4 Healthy One Pot Meals to Try This Week

Healthy One Pot Meals: healthy soups, chili and stew

Get the whole family back on track this month with these easy one-pot meals.

I noticed this morning that the Canadian Tire flyer was featuring a big sale on exercise equipment. (I didn’t even know that you could buy treadmills and such at Canadian Tire.)

It’s the time of year when “healthy” everything is top of mind. After the excesses of the holiday season people are ready for a change and I suspect most of us are craving comfort food, wholesome eating and simplicity in the kitchen.

That’s where these wholesome and healthy one pot meals come in handy. They’re satisfying in so many ways. One-pot meals are easy, can be very healthy, and are hearty too.

An easy way to eat more vegetables

I learned long ago that the best way to get my kids to eat more vegetables – to get us all eating more vegetables – was to serve stew or hearty soup for weeknight meals. You can stuff all sorts of vegetables into one-pot meals.

Here are four simple, healthy one-pot meals that are just right for January. All are good on their own but could also be served with a simple side salad and a biscuit or cornbread. Double the batch if you’d like to have lots of leftovers.

4 Healthy One Pot Meals

Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup

This is my mom’s recipe for lentil soup and one of the easiest soup recipes you’ll ever make. The recipe is versatile too – make the Moroccan flavoured version or the Mexican, depending on your mood and what’s in the cupboard.

Roasted red pepper lentil soup is ready in 30 minutes.

Black Bean Turkey Chili

This is another of my mom’s recipes and a family favourite in our house. It’s a great meal for a snowy Saturday.

Black bean turkey chili combines some sweet with heat.

Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry

This Thai-inspired recipe from my neighbour makes a satisfying vegetarian meal. One of my favourite ways to eat sweet potatoes.

Chickpea sweet potato curry

Simple Black Bean Chili

This is a basic chili recipe with great flavour and extra texture from corn kernels. And it isn’t too heavy. We love it served with nachos.

black bean chili

10 Easy Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

10 easy appetizers

My go-to recipes for easy entertaining…

Whether you’re hosting a crowd at your house this year, or heading off to a potluck-style celebration, having a stash of easy and delicious appetizer recipes can only add to the fun. And if you’re making a meal of nibbles you want food that will fill you up in a satisfying kind of way (something no amount of cheese and crackers will ever do).

Of course, balance and variety are essential to any good party spread. Round out your selection of dips and crudités with a few of these 10 easy appetizers for your New Year’s Eve celebration. They just might become your go-to recipes for easy entertaining…

Wishing you a New Year filled with happiness and many good times around the table. 

10 Easy Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

Meatballs are my kids’ all-time favourite party treat. This recipe for molasses meatballs is extra easy because you can start with store-bought meatballs and dress them up with this flavourful sauce.

molasses meatballs in a flavourful molasses sauce.

 

Another favourite with my kids, the delicious marinade for these ginger chicken kabobs can also be used for pork or tofu.

ginger chicken kabobs

Shrimp is one of the simplest foods to eat with your fingers. This spicy shrimp recipe with its avocado dipping sauce tastes fresh and original.

spicy shrimp recipe

Rum, ginger, lime and molasses make up the tasty marinade for this simple molasses shrimp appetizer.

Molasses Shrimp

An old family favourite in our house this recipe for Cajun shrimp is perfectly adaptable to the New Year’s party buffet as an easy finger food.

Cajun shrimp

Sesame oil is the secret ingredient in this marinade for molasses soy glazed scallops

molasses glazed scallops

Another family supper staple, teriyaki salmon is easily adapted into party food that is extra easy to eat because it’s served on a stick. Marinade can be used for other meats and tofu.

Teriyaki salmon

This spice roasted cauliflower recipe was inspired by a cauliflower appetizer recipe I found in a Food & Wine magazine years ago. Cook until crisp-tender for easier eating with your fingers.

sweet and spicy roasted cauliflower

The marinade for these molasses salmon skewers features crushed coriander seeds for a bright flavour

Molasses salmon

Spiced nuts are always a handy snack to have around. These maple molasses candied pecans satisfy the craving for sweet but offer a little more substance than candies and chocolate. Try the recipe with walnuts too.

Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift and an easy snack for guests.

 

 

Gingerbread Pudding – a Christmas Dessert for Kids

Gingerbread Pudding is a great treat. It's easy to make, has a lovely creamy texture, and isn’t overly sweet. Best served with crispy cookies.

Gingerbread Pudding is a quick and easy Christmas Dessert for Kids.

I love the energy level in the house during these final few days before Christmas. My kids are so wound up that I just stand back and watch their shenanigans, thrilled with the fact that they still get so excited.

Gingerbread Pudding is a great treat. It's easy to make, has a lovely creamy texture, and isn’t overly sweet. Best served with crispy cookies.

An easy last-minute dessert.

There is much cooking left to be done between now and Sunday, for everyone I’m sure. If you’re still in search of a kid-friendly dessert for your holiday celebrations this Gingerbread Pudding is a great treat. It’s easy to make, has a lovely creamy texture, and isn’t overly sweet. Best served with crispy cookies, like these Molasses Almond Tuiles.

This is the perfect recipe to make along with Chewy Coconut Macaroons. The pudding recipe calls for four egg yolks, and the macaroons use up the four egg whites you’ll have leftover.

The recipe is from the December 2016 Canadian Living magazine, always a great source of delicious and well-tested recipes. This pudding is the custard filling for the Chocolate Gingerbread Cream Pie

Gingerbread Pudding

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ cup whipping cream

Instructions

  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk the egg yolks with ½ cup of the milk, sugar, cornstarch, molasses and spices.
  2. In another pot, heat remaining 1 ½ cups of milk over medium just until bubbles start to form around the edges. Slowly whisk into egg yolk mixture and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 3-4 minutes (until thick enough to mound on a spoon).
  3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in vanilla and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate until chilled.
  4. When ready to serve, whip ¼ cup of whipping cream to stiff peaks and gently fold into pudding.
  5. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon.

 

 

Maple Molasses Candied Pecans

Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift and an easy snack for guests.

Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift or an easy snack for guests.

When you want a good nibble in a hurry, candied nuts are always a great option. They’re quick to mix up, don’t take long to bake and are so yummy.

When I was growing up we’d have a big bowl of whole nuts in the living room. It was an old fashioned sort of holiday treat that you could leave out all through December. As kids we preferred bowls of ribbon candy or barley toys but once in a while we’d sit down beside the bowl and start the slow process of snacking.

Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift and an easy snack for guests.

You have likely noticed that the tradition continues and you can still find mesh bags of mixed nuts in the produce section of the grocery store. In this world where so much is processed and prepackaged it’s comforting to see something as simple as whole nuts are still available.

Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift and an easy snack for guests.

We have other recipes for candied nuts on this website but I have to say Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the easiest. Pecans toast up quickly and evenly, and the whole batch is ready in under 30 minutes. Feel free to change up the spices. The recipe is adapted ever so slightly from the lovely blog The Cafe Sucre Farine.

You might also like our Gingerbread Spiced Almonds and Five-Spice Candied Nuts.

Maple Molasses Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups pecans (raw)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Have a second sheet of parchment nearby.
  2. Combine all ingredients except pecans in a medium pot. Stir to combine then stir in pecans.
  3. Warm over medium heat until mixture is very runny (don’t boil) for about two minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Pour mixture onto prepared pan and spread into a single layer.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir well then spread out again to a single layer. Bake until deep golden brown, about 8-12 minutes more. Watch carefully so they don’t overcook.
  6. Remove from oven, stir again and then spread on the reserved sheet of parchment to cool. (Moving the pecans to a clean sheet of parchment will keep them looking tidy.)

 

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake for a Crowd

one-bowl gingerbread cake for a crowd: Beautifully spiced and with a texture that is just dense enough

Gingerbread is best shared with friends. A one-bowl gingerbread recipe that makes a good sized cake is the easiest way to have more to go around.

There’s nothing better than a dessert recipe that can feed a crowd. Not every recipe doubles well and sometimes making two of something is more effort than you have time for. That’s where a big-batch cake comes in handy. One bowl. On pan. One less thing to prep for a gathering.One-bowl gingerbread cake for a crowd: Beautifully spiced and with a texture that is just dense enough

A family favourite recipe…

I was given this recipe last month for a fundraiser that I was helping out with. It’s a family favourite of a woman I volunteer with, and she passed it out to 10 of us to bake for dessert for the fundraiser.

We had to deliver it sliced which meant I was able to taste a little sliver.

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake for a Crowd has everything you love about a classic gingerbread. Beautifully spiced and with a texture that is just dense enough, this is the cake you want to make for your Christmas (or any other festive) gathering. Make it ahead if you have time since it only gets better with age. Serve it warm with cinnamon whipped cream or our Quick Coffee Toffee Sauce or Toasted Pecan Caramel Sauce.

One-bowl gingerbread cake for a crowd: Beautifully spiced and with a texture that is just dense enough

Hard to believe, but in all my years of making gingerbread this is the first classic GB recipe I have ever made that calls for a 9”x 13” pan. This recipe can serve up to 20.

One-Bowl Gingerbread Cake for a Crowd

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9” x 13” pan or line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter with sugar. Beat in eggs then molasses. Beat in water.
  3. Sprinkle over the flour, spices, baking soda and salt and beat until smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.

 

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Easy Molasses Almond Tuiles

Easy Molasses Almond Tuiles - A golden festive cookie that’s lacy and crisp.

Easy Molasses Almond Tuiles – A festive golden cookie that’s lacy and crisp.

Molasses almond tuiles is one of those Holiday cookie recipes that looks fiddly and impressive but really takes little effort. The batter mixes up quickly and goes a long way (this recipe makes about 50 cookies).

When I was in high school and university my mom used to head off to New York City in early December with a group of friends. From the stories mom would tell about the decorations, it seemed like the most festive city in the world.

Mom loved to visit the specialty food shops and would come home with imported cookies that we couldn’t get at home. One of the treats she would bring us were cigar shaped cookies that were crisp and filled with chocolate. I loved the look of them on a plate and the crispy texture was outstanding.

The crispy texture of these cookies reminds me a bit of those special New York treats. It makes them irresistible, like potato chips.

Easy Molasses Almond Tuiles - A festive golden cookie that’s lacy and crisp.

My greatest challenge with this recipe was gathering enough suitable things to drape the warm cookies over until they had set. (I used my rolling pin and a bunch of slender vinegar bottles.) You can also create cigar-shaped cookies by rolling the just-baked tuiles around the handle of a wooden spoon.

Easy Molasses Almond Tuiles - A golden festive cookie that’s lacy and crisp.

Add molasses almond tuiles to your cookie tray or use them to decorate holiday cakes.

The recipe is adapted from a tuile recipe in the December 2016 issue of Canadian Living magazine.

Honey Molasses Almond Tuiles

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Pinch salt
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. sliced almonds

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, molasses, honey, lemon juice and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (2 min.). Remove from heat and stir in flour and almonds. Chill until firm (about an hour).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F and line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Using a teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop batter and roll into balls. Arrange on baking sheet about 3” apart.
  4. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 8 minutes. Let cool until starting to firm up (about 90 seconds).
  5. Using a spatula, lift cookies and drape over a rolling pin or slender bottles until firm. Or, roll soft cookies around a thick handled wooden spoon. If the cookies aren’t setting quickly lay them back on the cookie sheet and back for another minute or so. (Watch closely so they don’t burn.)
  6. Transfer directly to rack to cool completely.
  7. Refrigerate dough between batches to firm up.

Makes about 50 cookies.

 

 

6 Fail Proof Holiday Cookie Recipes

6 fail proof cookies for your holiday cookie plate

Easy and festive recipes for the Holidays…

If you’re squeezed for time leading up to the Holidays (and who isn’t?), but still want to have a few festive sweets on hand, here are my top six suggestions for cookies and bars that are festive and easy. These are the fail proof Holiday cookie recipes that everyone needs in their recipe box.

Everything you need in a Holiday cookie recipe:

These are festive and delicious cookies that suit Holiday parties. They’re pretty enough to give as hostess gifts too, packaged with a bow (and the recipe tucked alongside).

Most of these recipes are fun to bake with children too and decorating Holiday cookies makes a wonderful family tradition.

Helpful Hint:

The helpful thing about most cookie recipes is that the dough can be refrigerated. Mix it up in the evening when you have a few minutes to spare and then bake the cookies another day when you have more time to spend in the kitchen. Cookie dough gets better with age since refrigerating your cookie dough actually improves the texture and flavour of the finished cookie.

  • Chilled cookies will taste a little sweeter and the sugars will caramelize more quickly when baked.
  • Chilling dough also helps with the texture of your finished cookies since it allows the gluten in the flour to relax.
  • Flavours, like spices, have more time to develop when the dough is chilled. If you have time, chilling your dough overnight, and up to 36 hours, can make a tasty difference.

6 Fail Proof Holiday Cookie Recipes:

Pecan Toffee Bars

A buttery toffee thick with pecans layered on a barely-sweet shortbread base. They’re gorgeous but not over the top. They’re festive and beyond delicious.

Pecan toffee bars

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Cookies

The ultimate Christmas cookie (in our house anyway) and a favourite that I decorate with my kids each year. (FUN TO BAKE & DECORATE WITH KIDS.)

whole wheat gingerbread cut out cookies

Molasses Walnut Cookies

Snowball Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cookies…

These cookies go by all sorts of names but they’re all the same buttery shortbread-style cookie loaded with ground nuts and coated in powdery white icing sugar.

molasses walnut cookies

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Relatively easy to mix up, they add great variety to your holiday cookie plate. And at just 113 calories per cookie, they add a lower cal option to your holiday treats as well. (FUN TO BAKE & DECORATE WITH KIDS.)

Chewy Coconut Macaroons are Easy & Low Cal

Chocolate Chunk Gingerbread Cookies

Chewy spiced gingerbread cookies studded with chocolate chips or chunks. Dipping them in white chocolate makes these cookies extra festive. (FUN TO BAKE & DECORATE WITH KIDS.)

Sparkly chocolate gingerbread cookies

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies

These are chewy peanut butter cookies that are lightly spiced for the holidays. A great recipe for kids to help out with.  We made them in an assembly line: I formed the cookie dough balls then they did the criss-cross press with a fork and placed the chocolate in the centre of each cookie. (FUN TO BAKE & DECORATE WITH KIDS.)

festive peanut butter molasses cookies

 

 

Chewy Coconut Macaroons are Easy & Low Cal

 

Chewy Coconut Macaroons are Easy & Low Cal

Chewy Coconut Macaroons – the one new recipe you’ll want to add to your holiday baking list this year.

They’re easy to make, low cal, low carb and delicious. They can also be made gluten-free.

I love the idea of baking oodles of cookies for the holidays. I grew up in a house where there were a dozen different kinds of cookies in the freezer by the time the holidays arrived and our basement freezer was so stuffed it had to be locked to keep it closed tight.

Chewy Coconut Macaroons are Easy & Low Cal

Truth be told, I’m lucky if I can get even a few different kinds of cookies in the freezer in time for Christmas and I have been known to discover unbaked cookie dough in my fridge long after the holidays have passed.

One cookie that has been easy to add to my holiday baking lineup is this recipe for coconut macaroons. Relatively easy to mix up, they add great variety to your holiday cookie plate. And at just 113 calories per cookie, they add a lower cal option to your holiday treats as well.

Dipping them in chocolate is optional.

Chewy Coconut Macaroons are Easy and Low Cal

The recipe is adapted from the lovely  little cookbook, Classic Cookies with a Modern Twist by Ellen Jackson.

They’re easy to make gluten-free…just substitute a gluten free flour blend for the 1/2 cup flour called for in the recipe.

classic cookies with a modern twist

Chewy Coconut Macaroons

Makes 24 macaroons

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup flour (can use gluten-free)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut (fine)
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut (wide)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Chocolate for dipping (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together the flour, salt and both kinds of coconut.
  2. In a double boiler or a metal bowl suspended above a pot of barely simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the sugar, molasses and vanilla until mixture warm to the touch and opaque (110 F). Remove from heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Fold to combine and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the coconut to absorb some of the liquid.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 F. Form mixture into 1” to 1 ½” balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Rotate baking sheet halfway through cooking.
  5. Let cool then dip in melted chocolate.

Nutritional info (no chocolate): Per cookie. Calories: 113, Fat: 7.4 g, Saturated Fat: 6.5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbs: 11.4 g, Sugar: 7.3 g, Sodium: 38.4 mg, Fibre: 1.9 g, Protein: 1.6 g, Potassium 95.9 mg

 

 

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies a Double-Decker Delight

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies: soft, cake-like cookies sandwiched with fluffy frosting. An easy way to turn a simple cookie into a true treat.

Mmm, Gingerbread Whoopie Pies. Soft, cake-like cookies sandwiched with fluffy frosting turns a simple cookie into a true treat.

For many years my brother and his wife lived just around the corner from a bakery devoted entirely to whoopie pies. There were classic chocolate whoopie pies, peanut butter whoopie pies, vanilla whoopie pies and mini chocolate-dipped whoopie pies called whoop-de-dos’s. You could even special order a giant whoopie pie to serve as a birthday cake.

I don’t recall of they served gingerbread whoopie pies but suffice to say we enjoyed our fair share of the other varieties of whoopie pies on visits to their place.

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies: soft, cake-like cookies sandwiched with fluffy frosting. An easy way to turn a simple cookie into a true treat.

Whoopie pies will always delight!

There is something extra special about soft, cake-like cookies sandwiched with fluffy frosting. It turns a simple cookie into a true treat.

This recipe is from Bite Me Bakery in Toronto. Dayna, the “sweet entrepreneur” at the Bakery, baked these whoopie pies for a coffee break treat at a recent conference I attended. Dayna sandwiched them with cream cheese frosting but since I don’t often have cream cheese on hand I use a simple icing for my version.

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies: soft, cake-like cookies sandwiched with fluffy frosting. An easy way to turn a simple cookie into a true treat.

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour, spooned in
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add molasses, egg, and vanilla – beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture until well combined.  Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours – or ideally, overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on parchment baking sheets.
  4. Bake 12-14 minutes or until set.
  5. Cool before sandwiching with frosting.

Simple Butter Frosting:

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ to 1 Tbsp. milk or cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Beat the butter with half a cup of the icing sugar.
  2. Stir in ½ Tbsp. of the cream and the vanilla.
  3. Add remaining icing sugar and beat until smooth, adding additional milk if required.

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Swedish Apple Pie (with a touch of molasses)

Swedish Apple Pie - a rich and delicious pie that is really quite effortless.

Last week I finally understood the old saying, “As easy as apple pie.”

I love apple pie but I can’t say I’d ever consider it “easy”. Not that apple pie is really difficult to make but there is pastry to be made and chilled and rolled and crimped. Swedish Apple Pie, however, is different. It really is simple. It’s a bit like a “dump it” cake in that you simply mix the topping ingredients in a pot, pour it over the apples and bake. The result is a rich and delicious pie that is really quite effortless.

Swedish Apple Pie - a rich and delicious pie that is really quite effortless.

This is a slightly adapted version of a recipe that my mom discovered in a Hannaford Fresh Magazine on a trip to Maine last year. It was on the very last page, submitted by a reader.

We have been baking Swedish Apple Pie with local Cortland apples but any good pie apples will do. Be sure to use a deep-dish pie plate.

Baking Tip: Why you should combine apple varieties in your baking

When cooking with apples, mix and match varieties to get the best combination of flavors and textures. Some apples break down more easily when they cook, like McIntosh, and others hold their structure better (think Cortlands). By combining different varieties in a pie you’ll be able to combine flavours and textures.

(More baking tips)

Swedish Apple Pie with Molasses

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 5 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2″-thick wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (can use half whole wheat)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ginger

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Fill a deep  10″ pie dish with the sliced apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle over the molasses.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, flour, egg, salt and ginger.
  4. Pour over apples, covering as evenly as possible.
  5. Bake until crust is golden brown and crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Adapted from Hannaford fresh Magazine, November – December 2015

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Maple Molasses Caramel Corn

Maple Molasses Caramel Corn is made with molasses and real maple syrup. It's sweet, crispy and so easy to make. Recipe is nut-free and uses no corn syrup.

Maple Molasses Caramel Corn is almost too easy to make.

Did you grow up eating Cracker Jack? We have a dear family friend who always tucked a box of Cracker Jack into little gift bags for me. It was a special treat because we never had it at home and it wasn’t something that I bought myself. Even the way it was (and still is) packaged made caramel corn special, since nothing else on the shelf is packaged in a similar way. And of course each box had a little surprise hidden inside.

Maple Molasses Caramel Corn is made with molasses and real maple syrup. It's sweet, crispy and so easy to make. Recipe is nut-free and uses no corn syrup.

It’s the crispy texture of caramel corn that I love. That thin, crackly coating of caramel on perfectly crisp popcorn is irresistible.

I’m not fond of corn syrup so this version of caramel corn caught my eye. I adapted the recipe ever so slightly from the cookbook, Real Sweet, by Shauna Sever.

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This is a nut-free version of caramel corn – just the way I like it.

Maple Molasses Caramel Corn is best eaten on the same day that it’s made.

 

Maple Molasses Caramel Corn

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups popped popping corn (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of kernels)
  • 6 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 F
  2. Place popped popcorn in a very large pot or mixing bowl.
  3. In a heavy pot stir together the maple syrup, molasses, sugar, water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring from time to time, until the temperature reaches 250 F. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla (it will sputter), baking soda and butter.
  4. Pour over the bowl of popped popcorn and mix gently with a rubber spatula (you don’t want to crush the popcorn). When popcorn is well coated, scrape onto a large parchment-lined sided baking sheet.
  5. Spread in an even layer and bake at 250 F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  6. Cool before eating.

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Double Ginger Granola Bars for True Lovers of Ginger

Double Ginger Granola bars: Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well toasty, flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

Double Ginger Granola Bars are a lean and clean oat bar made exclusively for lovers of ginger

This is a seemingly simple bar that’s full of surprises…

If you like a classic granola bar with a little oomph then these double ginger granola bars are your ginger dream.  Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well, toasty flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

Double Ginger Granola bars: Generous on the candied ginger, this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone. The oats in this recipe are toasted which gives the bars a wonderful, well toasty, flavour and deepens the colour of this no-bake treat.

Caution: This bar has a great bite thanks to the ginger. If you’re the sort of person who loves to nibble a sliver of candied ginger in lieu of dessert I think you’ll love this recipe.

The recipe is vegan and gluten-free (choose certified GF rolled oats if necessary.) For a richer (non-vegan) flavour replace the coconut oil with butter.

This is a granola bar recipe that was a runner-up in a recipe contest we held a couple of years ago:

Molasses & Ginger Chew Granola Bars

Double Ginger Granola Bars

From the blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Makes 18 generous bars

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ⅓ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup candied ginger, chopped

Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp pecans
  • 2 Tbsp candied ginger

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a 9″ x 9″ baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the oats and pecans on a large baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, tossing a couple of times. Remove from the oven and place in a large bowl. Stir in chopped ginger.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat combine the molasses, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract, powdered ginger, and salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour molasses mixture over the oats and toss until the oats are well coated.
  6. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and press the mixture until firmly packed and smooth on top. (I place a sheet of parchment on top of the bars and then lay an 8”x8” pan on top. Then I press on the smaller pan with as much strength as I can muster.)
  7. Sprinkle over the topping ingredients and press them into the base.
  8. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and then cut into 18 bars.

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Favourite Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

Favourite pumpkin recipes for Fall: 6 recipes for baked goods and special treats.

Here are 6 delicious ways to use up a can of pumpkin.

Fall weather seems to suit pumpkin and spice. It’s the only time of the year I cook with pumpkin and when I open that big can of puree I want to have all sorts of recipes in mind to use it all up. (That’s when I pull out my favourite pumpkin recipes.)

Leftover pumpkin puree can be frozen, but frozen pumpkin puree can also get lost in my freezer so I’m better off using it all up within a couple of weeks.

If you’re like me, here is a selection of my favourite pumpkin recipes to help you blow through a whole can with ease and have your home smelling of warm pumpkin spice.

6 Favourite Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Glaze

This new favourite cake recipe is super moist and not too sweet.

Pumpkin cake with molasses cream cheese glaze is moist, light textured and oh so easy.

Cornmeal Pumpkin Muffins

A moist muffin with a lovely light texture. Good as a snack or with a big bowl of chili.

Muffins épicés à la citrouille et semoule de maïs

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

The perfect sauce for your favourite gingerbread recipe. Yummy over ice cream too.

Take your gingerbread from snack cake to dazzling dessert with a drizzle of Pumpkin Molasses Caramel Sauce. This rich and creamy, flavourful sauce tastes lightly of pumpkin, making it an ideal topping for gingerbread and other spiced desserts.

Pumpkin Biscuits

A simple biscuit recipe to serve alongside tea or a big bowl of warming red pepper lentil soup.

Pumpkin molasses biscuits are moist and flavourful, perfect with a bowl of soup or on their own

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Wholesome muffins with a great texture and made without refined sugar. Just the thing for a mid-morning or afterschool snack.

Pumpkin oat molasses muffins have a light texture and a delicious pumpkin pie spice flavour. No refined sugar.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Why buy a pumpkin spice latte when you can make your own at home with wholesome ingredients and the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

Pumpkin spice latte recipe

So many pumpkin recipes call for pumpkin spice. Here’s how to make your own Pumpkin Spice blend to have on hand for fall baking.

So many more pumpkin recipes…

Here are 9 more pumpkin recipes to enjoy this fall.

pumpkin and molasses recipes

 

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Apple Sage Baked Beans | Comfort Food with a Twist

Apple Sage Baked Beans: A classic recipe for molasses baked beans seasoned with savoury sage and tart apples.

Molasses baked beans with apple and sage – classic comfort food with a twist…

I don’t know how old I was when I finally decided I liked baked beans.

Baked beans were a common Saturday night supper when I was growing up, along with molasses brown bread. And when I was really little mom would sometimes add chopped hot dogs to the baked beans, I suppose to make the meal more palatable to those of us who hadn’t yet acquired a taste for them.

Apple Sage Baked Beans: A classic recipe for molasses baked beans seasoned with savoury sage and tart apples.But then one day I had leftover baked beans at breakfast, alongside fried eggs, and it was like an epiphany.

The layered flavours of sweet and smoke, and the soft texture of the beans made me realize how satisfying they are, in the comfort food sort of way.

Today I still love baked beans best with breakfast (with a poached egg) but they’re a side dish that can go with so many foods.

Apple Sage Baked Beans: A classic recipe for molasses baked beans seasoned with savoury sage and tart apples.

I don’t know how long it will take my kids to develop a taste for real baked beans.

In the meantime, I’ll keep getting them to taste each batch I bake and hope for the best.

I have high hopes that they’ll love this new recipe. Based on a recipe from East Coast Living magazine, this version of baked beans is filled with apples and seasoned with sage, which add a new dimension to the flavour and makes them especially well-suited to fall.

I usually have cooked navy beans in the freezer, which comes in handy when I want to make recipes that call for dried beans. If you’re using already cooked beans, two cups of dried beans equals 51/2 to 6 cups of cooked beans.

Not a fan of sage? Substitute thyme for the sage called for in the recipe.

Apple Sage Baked Beans

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried white beans (navy is my favourite)
  • 1 slice bacon (omit for vegetarian version)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage (or ½-1 Tbsp. dried)*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Generous oinch of pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water

*Can substitute thyme.

Instructions:

  • Soak 2 cups of dried navy or white beans in water overnight.
  • The next day, drain the beans, put them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Fry the bacon, discard pan drippings and roughly chop.
  • Drain the beans and put them in a large ovenproof pot with a tight fitting lid, or a bean crock. Add the bacon, chopped carrot, onion and apple.
  • Mix together the molasses, maple syrup, Dijon, sage, garlic, salt, pepper and water and pour over the beans. (Add additional water, if required, so beans are just covered.).
  • Cover the pot and cook at 275 F for 4-6 hours, until tender. Stir occasionally and add water if necessary so the beans do not dry out. Take the lid off for the last hour of cooking to help the beans brown and to thicken the sauce.

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Easy Pumpkin Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Glaze

Easy pumpkin cake with molasses cream cheese glaze is moist, light textured and not too sweet.

Are you in search of the perfect cake for fall?

This moist, light textured and oh so easy pumpkin cake is just what October called for. It seems to suit the season of falling leaves and cooling days. Not heavy and not too sweet. Not bundled up in frosting.

Easy pumpkin cake with molasses cream cheese glaze is moist, light textured and not too sweet.

The simple cream cheese glaze is the perfect foil for this cake.

Because the cake is so moist it doesn’t need a lot of icing (and we all know that sometimes cream cheese frosting can overwhelm a cake). That makes the drizzle just perfect.

And a drizzle is the easy way out for those, like me, who lack the skill and patience to frost a cake just right.

Easy pumpkin cake with molasses cream cheese glaze is moist, light textured and not too sweet.

Of course there is no need to frost the cake. A dusting of icing sugar would suit it well and the simplicity of our easy pumpkin cake makes it great for snacking too.

Although I used fiddly mini bundt cake pans for my photographed version, this cake is really best suited to a simple tube pan.

The recipe was slightly adapted from Rose Reisman. On her website, The Art of Living Well, you’ll see she’s a master of creating healthy and nutritious recipes that are delicious too.

Easy Pumpkin Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Glaze

Slightly adapted from Rose Reisman

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. Crosby’s fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Icing:

  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp. water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 9” tube pan.
  2. In a large bowl beat the beat the brown sugar with the oil. Beat in the eggs then the molasses, yogurt, and pumpkin.
  3. In another bowl whisk the flour with the spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk until no lumps remain.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cakes starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  6. Remove to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Gently remove from pan and let cool completely.

To make the icing:

  1. Beat together the cream cheese, molasses, icing sugar and water. Set the cooled cake on a serving plate and drizzle the icing over the cake.