Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins a Wholesome Snack

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins: wholesome, quick and taste great smeared with peanut butter.

You can never have too many recipes for blueberry muffins.

I consider muffins the perfect snack food. They’re satisfying, not too sweet and can be filled with all sorts of healthy things. They suit breakfast, a mid morning snack, can be eaten with a slice of cheese at lunch or smeared with peanut butter for an after school snack.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins: wholesome, quick and taste great smeared with peanut butter.

This Whole wheat blueberry muffins recipe is and updated version of an old Crosby’s recipe. I simply swapped in some whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar. You can make these muffins a little richer by using whole milk, although I have always used 1% milk. I almost always make them with frozen blueberries too.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins: wholesome, quick and taste great smeared with peanut butter.

I love to bake muffins for my kids’ lunches but they really prefer to eat muffins as an after school snack, which is fine by me. When they storm into the house starving, these are an easy target. They’re wholesome, quick and taste great smeared with peanut butter.

As you’ll see, this recipe makes about 14 muffins. I use ramekins for the extra batter.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Makes 14 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in
  • 1 cup whole wheat or whole spelt flour, spooned in
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup canola oil or melted butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line muffin tins with papers. (Can use 2 ramekins for the extra batter)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl whisk dry ingredients.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir gently 2-3 times.
  5. Add the berries and mix just until the flour is moistened. (Batter will be lumpy and will break into coarse globs.)
  6. Pour into muffin cups and fill to the top.
  7. Bake at once until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  8. Let muffins rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pan to finish cooling.

Lemon Ginger Scones for Spring Mornings

Lemon Ginger Scones: Flavoured with both powdered and candied ginger, and the zest of a lemon. Best enjoyed right out of the oven with a little butter and jam. Any leftovers can be toasted the next day.

No matter the weather, you can bring spring to your kitchen with the foods that you bake.

We awoke to snow this morning. It won’t last but that doesn’t change the wintery feeling it gives you, especially now that the crocus are up.

But spring can be a state of mind and brightly flavoured lemon ginger scones make me think of spring. They FEEL like spring. Flavoured with both powdered and candied ginger, and the zest of a lemon, they’re like a mouthful of sunshine on a weekend morning.

Lemon Ginger Scones: Flavoured with both powdered and candied ginger, and the zest of a lemon. Best enjoyed right out of the oven with a little butter and jam. Any leftovers can be toasted the next day.

Lemon ginger scones are best enjoyed right out of the oven with a little butter and jam. Any leftovers can be toasted the next day.

This is a sweet scone, lovely on its own with a cup of tea. Feel free to increase the amount of candied ginger to ¾ of a cup. The sugar can be reduced to 2 Tbsp.

This is a very slight adaptation of a recipe for Derby Scones from an old cookbook of my mom’s. (It’s the same cookbook with the Oven-Baked Ribs and Gluten-Free Oatmeal Flax Bars.)

Lemon Ginger Scones

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • ½ cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  •  2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup milk soured with 1 tsp. of lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. In a large bowl whisk the flours, salt, baking soda, sugar, cream of tartar and ginger. Cut in the butter until it’s pea-sized. Stir in the candied ginger.
  3. In a small bowl whisk the egg with the molasses and milk.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir with a fork until almost combined.
  5. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times until the dough comes together.
  6. Gently roll ½ “ thick and cut into rounds or pat into a circle and cut into wedges.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs a Wholesome Homemade Treat

These easy peanut butter Easter eggs are a natural version of the popular Easter treat. Made with just four ingredients (natural peanut butter, molasses, coconut flour and good, dark chocolate).

These easy peanut butter Easter eggs are a natural version of the popular Easter treat. Made with just four ingredients (natural peanut butter, molasses, coconut flour and good, dark chocolate).

I love when Easter arrives a little later in April.  While the weather can be unpredictable, this year I know my kids won’t be climbing snowbanks in their pajamas for the great Easter egg hunt.

And for the first time ever, they’ll be hunting for homemade peanut butter eggs.

These easy peanut butter Easter eggs are a natural version of the popular Easter treat. Made with just four ingredients (natural peanut butter, molasses, coconut flour and good, dark chocolate).

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs are a wholesome homemade treat.

There will be store bought candy too but I like the idea that something healthy and homemade is still considered a treat.

I have made this recipe with both peanut butter and almond butter. Both were tasty but my kids preferred the peanut butter version. They devoured them all, although my daughter is still requesting a milk chocolate covered version.

These easy peanut butter Easter eggs are a natural version of the popular Easter treat. Made with just four ingredients (natural peanut butter, molasses, coconut flour and good, dark chocolate).

This recipe is slightly adapted from Ambitious Kitchen. The original recipe called for the eggs to be tablespoon sized but my kids found that to be too much of a mouthful of peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

Makes about 20 eggs

  • 2/3 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1-2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 150 g dark chocolate*
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl blend the peanut butter, molasses and coconut flour to create a dough. It should be stiff enough that you can gather it into a ball with your hands.
  2. Using a half tablespoon measure, scoop the dough into the spoon and press it firmly until the edge is flat.  Nudge it out with your thumb, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and press one side to create an egg shape.
  3. Set in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. While the eggs are chilling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  5. Working quickly, drop one egg at a time into the chocolate. Lift it out with a fork, flat side down, and place back on the cold baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with decorations. (The chocolate will set quickly.)
  6. Store in the fridge or a cool place.

*You won’t use all of the chocolate but you’ll need the melted chocolate to be deep enough to dip.

Nutritional info:

Per egg. Calories: 87, Fat: 6.4 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: .2 mg, Carbs: 5.6 g, Sugar: 2.2 g, Sodium: 1.9 mg, Fibre: 1.7 g, Protein: 2.6 g

Healthier Carrot Cake Recipe for a Crowd

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original with less in sugar. Made in a 9"x13" pan. Extra easy.

This healthier carrot cake is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original and reduced in sugar too.

Apparently National Carrot Cake Day is in February but I think of carrot cake as a spring dessert, the kind of no-fail recipe you make around Easter. Dressed up with luscious cream cheese frosting it feels a little festive, although it really is a humble cake that is simple to make.

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original with less in sugar. Made in a 9"x13" pan. Extra easy.

Healthier Carrot Cake is a moist cake, made with less oil than most carrot cakes so isn’t greasy. Plus it doesn’t have pineapple in it so the crumb never feels wet. And it has just the right amount of cream cheese icing.

It’s an old Crosby’s recipe that I adapted slightly — reducing the sugar a bit and baking it in a 9”x13” pan instead of as a layer cake. And I cut the frosting recipe in half, which gives just the right amount to spread a swirling layer over the top of the cake.

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd is a classic carrot cake recipe that’s lower in fat than the original with less in sugar. Made in a 9"x13" pan. Extra easy.

This is the perfect cake for an Easter crowd. It stays moist so you can make it a few days ahead and frost it on the day you plan to serve it. (You can make the frosting ahead too and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready.) Even better, a 9”x 13” cake is easy to serve and the cake can be cut into as many as 20 pieces.

Healthier carrot cake recipe

If you want to go even lower in fat try our recipe for Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing. Or, make our Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies.

Healthier Carrot Cake for a Crowd

Serves 15-20

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (can use half whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups packed grated carrots (about 4 large carrots)

Icing

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2- 2 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a large bowl whisk the oil with the molasses and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture.
  6. Fold in carrots and walnut and mix until combined.
  7. Scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake 50-55 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  9. Let cool completely before icing.

Icing:

  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter. Beat in the sugar until you reach desired stiffness. Mix in vanilla.
  2. Spread on cool cake.

 

Calorie count based on the cake being cut into 18 pieces. Nutritional count includes frosting.

Nutritional info: Per slice. Calories: 341, Fat: 17.6 g, Saturated Fat: 4.2g, Cholesterol: 56.8 mg, Carbs: 42.8 g, Sugar: 30.8 g, Sodium: 240.4 mg, Fibre: 1.5 g, Protein: 4.3 g, Potassium: 184 mg, Calcium: 35.6 g

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Korean Turkey Meatballs with Noodles

Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they're tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang.

Flavourful Korean Turkey Meatballs are seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, pepper, sesame oil and a little molasses.

Sometimes my kids whine about supper. (Okay, often.) May be it’s a phase? They’re tired of chicken, say they don’t like turkey meatballs, don’t want to eat fish again….What I have come to discover as they get further into their teens is that more and more they love highly seasoned foods.

My kids clean their plates when I serve these tasty Korean turkey meatballs.

They love garlic and ginger and spices, loads of spices. The more I prepare ethnic foods the less they complain. Needless to say, my cupboard has been filling up with different spicy condiments, including the Korean paste-like sauce, gochujang.

Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they're tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang.

Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they’re tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang. Serve this dish with raw or lightly sauteed peppers for a bright and flavourful meal.

Korean turkey meatballs are highly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil and a little molasses. Once cooked they're tossed with simply spiced noodles that are seasoned with gochujang.

This recipe is slightly adapted from New York Times Cooking.

Korean Turkey Meatballs with Noodles

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. rice or cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup chopped peeled pear or apple
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • ½-1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari (GF)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ⅓ cup dry bread crumbs or panko (can omit for gluten-free version)
  • 6 ounces udon, soba or linguine noodles* (GF if necessary)
  • 1 Tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. gochujang, or 2 Tbsp. ketchup seasoned with 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 3 scallions, cut on diagonal

*Can serve meatballs with rice instead

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Place turkey in a bowl.
  3. Combine molasses, pepper, sesame oil, vinegar, pear, onion, ginger, soy sauce and two cloves of the garlic in a food processor and whirl until well minced. Scrape out of the processor and onto the turkey and stir to combine. Mix in the egg and bread crumbs. Form into 1 ½” balls and place on prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until done. (Careful not to overcook.)
  5. While the meatballs are baking, cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining.
  6. When meatballs are done, warm a saute pan over medium heat. Swirl in oil and add the remaining clove of garlic. Cook for 30 seconds then whisk in the gochujang or ketchup-hot sauce mixture and ¾ of the reserved pasta water. Simmer until it starts to thicken then add noodles. Toss to coat then add meatballs. (Add remaining pasta water if necessary.)
  7. Sprinkle over the scallions and serve.

 

20 Healthy Muffin Recipes in a Free eBook

20 healthy muffin recipes in a free eBook

Healthy muffin recipes – the ideal snack food.

This is what I love about muffins: they’re a bit of a sweet treat but you can stuff them full of all sorts of healthy ingredients.

And when you bake muffins from scratch, you get to decide how healthy you want them to be. You can include whole grain flour, dried fruit, ground flax or wheat germ. You can use butter or a healthier oil, and toss in some nuts or seeds. You can add pureed or grated fruit or vegetables. (And I often throw in a handful of chocolate chips too, as an extra treat for my kids.)20 muffin recipes in a free eBook

The options for wholesome muffins are endless, as you’ll see in this collection of 20 healthy muffin recipes. Here you’ll find recipes for classic bran muffins, banana muffins, four different kinds of blueberry muffins and more. A bit of the nutritious with the delicious.

Download your Muffin eBook here:

20 Healthy Muffin Recipes in a free eBook

 

Baking tip – How to make light-textured muffins:

Everyone has their favourite way to mix up a batch of muffins. The following are a few things I have learned over the years to keep my muffins light textured.

  • Mix the batter gently and always by hand, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • When you add the wet ingredients to dry, mix just until barely combined. A few streaks of flour or some lumps in the batter are fine.
  • Bake your muffins as soon as the batter is combined so the leavening agent can do its work in the oven.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate chip banana bread is a wholesome snack. Made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt and with the sugar reduced by almost 1/3 from the original recipe, it's a not-too-sweet treat that's perfect for lunch boxes or an afternoon snack.

Chocolate chip banana bread is a wholesome snack. Made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt and with the sugar reduced by almost 1/3 from the original recipe, it’s a not-too-sweet treat that’s perfect for lunch boxes or an afternoon snack. 

For my family the first week back from March Break is also the first week adjusting to the time change – a double whammy that has us all struggling through the early mornings. But when late afternoon arrives and it’s still bright and sunny, and daylight persists through dinnertime, it all feels worthwhile.

It’s a season for new lunchbox and after school snacks for my kids. Although winter isn’t quite over (hello province-wide blizzard warning for tomorrow) we’re all in the mood for snacks that feel less wintery, like this chocolate chip banana bread.

Chocolate chip banana bread is a wholesome snack. Made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt and with the sugar reduced by almost 1/3 from the original recipe, it's a not-too-sweet treat that's perfect for lunch boxes or an afternoon snack.

It’s a wholesome classic that hits the spot when you need a little nibble. Try it toasted with breakfast too.

Tip: If you’re using a frozen banana, thaw completely and whisk with a fork to incorporate the liquid. (This recipe made with frozen banana will take a little longer to cook.)

Eat within two days if you’re baking the bread with banana slices on top.

This recipe is adapted from Ricardo Cuisine.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed with a fork (about 1 banana)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all­-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour or spelt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup grape seed or canola oil
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 banana, split into three sections, squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkling of white sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large loaf pan (9″ x 5″) with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the banana and sour cream. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg with the brown sugar, vanilla and molasses until the sugar is fully incorporated (no longer gritty).  Whisk in the oil. Stir in the dry ingredients, alternating with the mashed bananas, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. If topping with banana: split the banana down the middle lengthwise, separating it into three sections. Sprinkle 1-2 sections with lemon juice then sugar. Place on top of the batter. Press into the batter slightly.
  6. Bake for 45 to 55 min.

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Low Sugar Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a wholesome and hearty lunchbox treat. They're filling, relatively low calorie and low in sugar, a good source of fibre and full of healthy stuff. The recipe contains no artificial sugar.

Low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a wholesome and hearty lunchbox treat. They’re filling, relatively low calorie and low in sugar, a good source of fibre and full of healthy stuff. The recipe contains no artificial sugar.

March is school break month and while many families fly off to warm destinations for the week-long holiday, it’s still one of the best times for an old fashioned family road trip.

I grew up heading off to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine for my March break. We’d pile in the car that was stuffed to the rafters with ski equipment and winter gear and drive six hours to the hill, singing all the way.

In fact, when I was growing up every road trip involved singing songs we all learned at Camp Genburn. Singing helped pass the time and kept us all distracted enough that we didn’t squabble during the long drive.

Low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a wholesome and hearty lunchbox treat. They're filling, relatively low calorie and low in sugar, a good source of fibre and full of healthy stuff. The recipe contains no artificial sugar.

The in-car picnic lunch also helped to pass the time. (It also helped save time and money since we only had to stop for bathroom breaks between home and the hill.) In my experience, good food is one of the essentials of a successful (and memorable) road trip with a car full of kids. A healthy lunch and wholesome snacks go a long way in preventing meltdowns, in both kids and adults.

Lots of cookies and snacks are high in sugar or aren’t aren’t filling so they don’t hit the spot. Pairing these low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with a piece of fruit makes a great snack combo that will tide you over until mealtime.

If you’re planning a March Break road trip, these low sugar oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a wholesome and hearty lunchbox treat. They have just enough chocolate chips to keep everyone in the back seat content. They’re lower in sugar and fat than most cookies, are a good source of fibre and are filled with healthy stuff.

Low Sugar Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (can reduce to 6 Tbsp.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax
  • 2 Tbsp. raw millet or sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant!)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light textured. Add egg then molasses and vanilla.
  2. Sprinkle over the flour, flax, millet (or sunflower seeds), baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Stir in rolled oats then chocolate chips, dried cranberries, coconut and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Drop by spoonful onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Press the tops lightly with the bottom of a glass
  5. Bake at 350 F for 12-14 minutes

 

 Nutritional info:

Per cookie. Calories: 162, Fat: 9.6 g, Saturated Fat: 4.7 g, Cholesterol: 16 mg, Carbs: 17.6 g, Sugar: 9.3 g, Sodium: 62 mg, Fibre: 2 g, Protein: 3.5 g, Potassium: 125 mg, Calcium: 17.5 g

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 or maple syrup
  • 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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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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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