Simon’s Easy Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe {Cookbook Giveaway}

Simon's soft molasses cookies

Easy soft molasses cookies suit any time of year.

This easy soft molasses cookies recipe is from the new cookbook, Pantry & Palate, by writer Simon Thibault. It’s a cookbook filled with old-fashioned East Coast recipes that celebrate his Acadian roots. These are recipes that he grew up with, gathered from family members and from the Acadian community in Nova Scotia where his family is from.

Molasses was a staple in Acadian households. It was always easy to come by and was (is) suited to sweet and savoury dishes. (My grandfather, an Acadian originally from Prince Edward Island, practically considered molasses its own food group, it was so essential to his diet.)

pantry and palate

The recipes may be old time but they’re not out dated.

Pantry & Palate is an exploration of history through food. And while some recipes are not every day fare (pickled pig’s head, for example) most are perfectly suited to today’s kitchen

From chicken fricot (chicken vegetable stew) to potato pancakes, scalloped cabbage, apple cake, gingerbread and apple pie, the book is filled with everyday recipes, family-favourite sorts of recipes.

A giveaway!

Now is your chance to try more recipe from Pantry & Palate. Courtesy of Nimbus Publishing Ltd. we’re giving away a copy of the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Simon’s easy soft molasses cookies:

This is an old fashioned soft molasses cookie recipe, made with lard. To ensure they’re tender, take care not to over-bake them. They only cook for about 8 minutes, and they might not seem cooked at that point but they’ll set once cooled. These bake in a hot oven (375 F) so the bottoms can burn easily if you leave them in too long. They’re equally wonderful baked plain or rolled in sugar.

Easy Soft Molasses Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup lard
  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Sugar for rolling (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and lard until the sugar is no longer grainy. Beat in the molasses then the ginger.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and stir until just combined.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonful (or a medium cookie scoop). Flatten gently with a fork. (or you can roll dough in balls & dip in sugar)
  7. Bake for 8 minutes (Take care not to over bake these cookies. You want them to be tender.)

If you love soft molasses cookies try our recipe for Aunt Marcia’s Soft Molasses Thumbprint Cookies

Ultimate Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe a Gluten-Free Treat

Gluten Free Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe: Fudgy brownies with a sweet tahini swirl.

Fudgy brownies with a sweet tahini swirl. 

A few years ago when we were exhibiting at a food show in Vancouver, a few customers introduced us to the tahini-molasses combination. What a great discovery. A school-friendly alternative to peanut butter, tahini mixed with molasses became a great sandwich option and tahini on crackers, drizzled with molasses, became an after school snack.

Gluten Free Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe: Fudgy brownies with a sweet tahini swirl.

Lots of reasons to enjoy tahini.

Tahini is a good source of calcium, high in B vitimins, a good source of vitimin E and high in minerals. Plus, when sweetened a bit to cut the bitterness, it has an irresistible flavour. (Those of you who are fans of halva know what I mean.)

Tahini brownies are among the best brownies I have ever tasted. Sweet tahini swirled into a thick chocolate brownie batter creates an outstanding flavour combination, an unexpected treat for the taste buds.

Gluten Free Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe: Fudgy brownies with a sweet tahini swirl.

A gluten-free treat.

In this gluten-free recipe, corn starch stands in for flour. And the combination of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate contributes an intensely chocolate flavour.

 

Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe

Makes 16 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  • 4 Tbsp. tahini, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch and cocoa.
  3. In a medium pot, over low heat, melt the chocolate with the butter and 1 Tbsp. of the tahini. Stir until smooth and remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and brown sugar until doubled in volume.
  5. Beat in the salt and vanilla, then add the chocolate mixture.
  6. Beat in the cornstarch mixture and mix until thick and smooth.
  7. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 Tbsp. of tahini with the Tbsp. of molasses.
  9. Dollop all over the top of the brownies and using a toothpick or chop stick, draw the tahini mixture through the batter, making a design.
  10. Bake until  a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 20- 25 minutes.
  11. Cool before removing from pan.

Roasted Rhubarb Cornbread Cake for Breakfast or Dessert

Roasted rhubarb cornbread is wholesome and delicious. Can be made with apples too. Low sugar.

Roasted rhubarb cornbread cake, a lower-sugar, lower-fat cousin of the muffin.

When I was little, cornbread was one of my favourites. Mom called it Johnny Cake and would sometimes bake a pan to serve with supper. Because it’s a little sweeter than many dinner breads I always felt like I was eating a bit of dessert along with my soup or stew or whatever was served for our main meal.

That’s the beauty of cornbread. It can travel from breakfast to supper to dessert. Not too sweet, lower in fat than many quick breads, it feels like a treat even though it’s much healthier than most muffin recipes.

Roasted rhubarb cornbread is wholesome and delicious. Can be made with apples too. Low sugar.

One recipe, many variations.

This particular recipe was adapted from the 1932 edition of The Guide To Good Cooking, published by Five Roses Flour and edited by Jean Brodie, a popular food writer in Toronto. I have my grandmother’s copy of the cookbook. In the book, the basic recipe is for cornmeal muffins offers a slight adaptation for fruit-topped Johnny Cake.

I make my rhubarb cornbread with fine cornmeal, which is really more of a corn flour. From time to time I’ll use a medium grind, or I’ll do half-and-half.

Roasted rhubarb cornbread is wholesome and delicious. Can be made with apples too. Low sugar.

Try rhubarb cornbread with your favourite summer fruit.

As we roll through summer I plan on making this cornbread recipe with strawberries, raspberries, peaches and apples.

Let me know if you try any variations.

Roasted Rhubarb Cornbread

Serves 9

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal (fine or medium)
  • 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • ¾ cup cold milk
  • 1 egg white
  • 4-6 stalks of rhubarb

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line an 8″x 8″ pan with parchment paper or grease it well.*
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the washed rhubarb on top. Sprinkle over 2 Tbsp. of sugar and bake for 5-10 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender.
  3. Remove and let cool.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.
  5. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. In a large bowl beat the butter and gradually add the sugar. Beat in the egg yolk then the molasses and honey or maple syrup.
  7. Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk (beginning and ending with the flour mixture.)
  8. Beat the egg white to stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
  9. Scrape into prepared pan and lay the soft rhubarb on top of the batter. Sprinkle over remaining Tbsp. of sugar.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and the top springs back when lightly touched. Serve warm or room temperature.

*This recipe can be baked as muffins (makes 12)

Nutritional info: Per generous piece. Calories: 194.5, Fat: 11.6 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 50.7 mg, Sodium: 214.9 mg, Carbs: 21.9. Sugar: 17.4 g, Protein: 2 g, Fibre .5 g, Potassium: 176.4 mg, Vitamin A: 115 mg

 

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Healthy Zucchini Brownies a Two-Bite Treat

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies, wholesome brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and chocolate chips.

Make a healthy version of an old-time favourite: Fudgy brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and whole wheat flour.

These are healthy compromise brownies. They’re sweet and fudgy but made healthier with zucchini, ground flax, whole wheat flour and much less sugar than your average brownie recipe. Molasses helps to make them taste more chocolaty and chocolate chips add nuggets of sweet and extra texture to each bite.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies, wholesome brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and chocolate chips.

Lower in fat but still fudgy:

Baking with vegetables is a good way to add nutrition to your brownies, cookies and muffins, and vegetables help to keep baked goods moist. Zucchini is versatile because it is tender and doesn’t have a lot of flavour on its own. And if you like to count calories, you’ll find these zucchini brownies are filling at just 106 calories each.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies, wholesome brownies, filled with zucchini, flax and chocolate chips.

Zucchini brownies are easy for kids to bake on their own:

Healthy zucchini brownies have become a school lunchbox treat for the final few weeks of school. With all of us tired of the school lunch routine (and school in general), easy treats like this create a nice diversion. They’re also easy for kids to bake on their own.

This recipe is adapted from an earlier recipe for Zucchini Brownies posted on this website.

Heathy Zucchini Brownies

Makes 36 brownies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup grapeseed oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 5 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, excess liquid squeezed out*
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Line a 9”x 9” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Whisk together butter, sugar, vanilla and molasses. Add egg and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk flours, flax, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold in the zucchini and ½ a cup of the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle over remaining 2 Tbsp. of chocolate chips and press them in a bit.
  7. Bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes

*Grate the zucchini on the large-hole side of a box grater. A handful at a time, squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

 

Nutritional info: Per brownie (when made with butter). Calories: 106, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 2.4 g, Cholesterol: 12.4 mg, Carbs: 15.8 g, Sugar: 9.1 g, Sodium: 109 mg, Fibre: 1.4 g, Protein: 1.8 g, Potassium: 125 mg

 

 

13 Cake Recipes in a Free eBook

13 cake recipes in a free eBook

Our new Cake eBook offers a baker’s dozen of new favourite cake recipes in an easy-to-download eBook.

This new eBook is full of everyday favourites, the sort of recipes that you could whip up on a weeknight but that can also be dressed up for a weekend gathering. None is overly fancy but they’re all delicious in a wholesome sort of way.

The recipes in this eBook show that you don’t always need an occasion to bake a cake. In fact, just baking a cake can be an occasion in itself and an easy way to make an ordinary weeknight meal feel extra special.

From chocolate cake to gingerbread, carrot cake and pound cake, and more, there are enough cake recipes in our free eBook to suit each and every one of your dessert occasions.

13 Cake Recipes in a Free eBook

Chocolate Beet Cake

Low-Carb Chocolate Cake

Gingerbread for a Crowd

Orange Spice Gingerbread

Buttermilk Gingerbread

Oatmeal Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

Whole Orange Molasses Cake

Sweet Cornbread Cake

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Doughnut-Glazed Molasses Pound Cake

Easy Pumpkin Cake

Healthier Carrot Cake

Upside-Down Apple Gingerbread

 

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10 Healthy Side Dishes for Summer

healthy side dishes for summer

Every great barbecue needs side dishes to go with it. Here are 10 healthy favourites.

Funny how I grew up thinking that the May long weekend was the start to summer. It’s funny, because I live in Southern New Brunswick where the average temperature in May is 16 degrees. Regardless of the weather, there was always the dare to get dunked in the river the Victoria Day weekend. But I also recall at least one May long weekend when there were snow flurries.

If you’re planning a barbecue, here are 10 healthy side dishes to go with what ever you plan to put on the grill.

10 Healthy Side Dishes for Summer

Quick Pickled Onions:

Quick pickled onions are mellow and tart with the fresh taste of lime juice and just a hint of savoury sweet from molasses.

sweet pickled onions 4

Molasses Roasted Onions

When cooked for a long time, onions develop a rich, savoury sweetness that complements meats, cheeses and anything spicy. The recipe calls for a little balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar) which balances the sweet and gives the flavour a bright edge.

Oignons rôtis à la mélasse

Grilled Nectarine Salad

This salad is gorgeous, with a chipotle molasses dressing that has a great sweet-with-heat balance. The nectarines soften when they’re grilled and the sugars caramelize a bit, which makes them irresistible. Both the dressing and the nectarine flavours go beautifully with the fresh, creamy goat cheese that you nestle in beside the fruit.

Salade de nectarines grillées

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Eating this pretty salad will give your the delicious hint of summer that you’re craving.

strawberry-salad-1

Salad with Molasses Vinaigrette

This salad is sprinkled with peppered walnuts and dressed with a vinaigrette filled with fresh herbs.
black papper walnut salad with molasses vinaigrette

Marinated Tomato Salad

I grew up eating this marinated tomato salad at big family parties where the food was laid out on the dining room table and served buffet style. Nestled in among the plates of ham and potato salad this salad was stunningly beautiful and added a welcomed variety to the standard fare.

Tomatoes

Snow Peas & Red Pepper Salad

Leafy salads are great but sometimes it’s nice to have a salad with a bit more crunch and colour, which is just what this salad offers.

Snowpea-1

French Potato Salad (no mayonnaise)

The salad is also loaded with vegetables, so there is more flavour and texture than your regular potato salad. And the dressing isn’t mayonnaise-based so you don’t have the same hot weather storage worries.

French potato salad recipe is made without mayonaise. It's tossed with a mustard vinaigrette instead.

Marinated Broccoli Salad

This salad tastes especially good when it has had a chance to sit for a few hours to mellow the texture and flavour of the raw broccoli. What’s better, it can last in the fridge for a few days and maintains its crunch.

molasses marinated broccoli salad

Wild Rice & Barley Salad

The grains are tossed with an aromatic vinaigrette spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, then sprinkled with currants and toasted almonds. The salad is full of flavours and textures that are just right for fish and chicken dishes. But you could also add some cooked lentils and crumbled feta to make it more substantial.

wild rice and barley salad sm

Bonus recipe: My favourite…

Carrot Cabbage Slaw

Carrot cabbage slaw with tangy orange dressing

Every great barbecue needs healthy side dishes to round out the meal. This selection gives enough variety to keep everyone happy.

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Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are wholesome and satisfying.

Thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are wholesome and satisfying.

When I was growing up we didn’t often get to bakeries. There was really no need since my mom baked all the time at home. When I headed off to university, home baking was hard to come by. There were often care parcels from home and to fill the gaps in between deliveries I searched out local bakeries that baked cookies that tasted homemade. And I didn’t just go for any sort of cookie.

Because I was buying food on my own dime I became a bit of an expert in cookie value. Chocolate chip cookies tended to be thin and not very filling but oatmeal raisin cookies, when made well, were thick, wholesome and satisfying. They we larger than the other cookies and would tide you over for the afternoon. That’s how my fondness for this sort of cookie grew — out of sheer practicality.

Thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies are wholesome and satisfying.

From there the humble oatmeal raisin cookie became a staple on camping trips. During a day of hiking or mountain biking, thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies provided energy and substance and if they got squashed in your backpack you could always press them into a ball without losing a crumb.

I have several oatmeal raisin cookie recipes that yield thin cookies, but it took a bit to come up with a recipe for the thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies I remembered from my university days. This recipe is slightly adapted from the blog Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Baking tips:

  • Chilling the dough is key to keeping the cookies thick while baking.
  • This recipe doubles well and the cookies freeze well.
  • To make these a bit more nutritious, add 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax to the dough.

Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes about 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup flour, spooned in
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • ½ cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light in colour. Beat in the egg then the vanilla and molasses.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture.
  3. Add rolled oats and raisins and stir until well combined.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonful (or use a medium cookie scoop) onto prepared sheet, about two inches apart.
  7. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until edges are set but the middle still looks a little soft.
  8. Let cool on the pan for a bit before removing to a rack to cool.

 

 

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

One more thing…

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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.

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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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.

One more thing…

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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…

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