Free Holiday eBook | 19 Recipes for Christmas Cookies & More

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Holiday eBook: 19 recipes for cookies, candied nuts, warming drinks and more. Free. Easy to download.

From cookies to candied nuts, this free Holiday eBook has everything you need for a homemade Christmas. Gluten-free options too.

Do your favourite Holiday traditions involve food?

So much of what is special about the season is tied to the taste, smell and sharing of food that is only prepared this time of year.

Food is part of what brings us together, and it’s at the root of our most meaningful generosity. From food bank donations to gathering around the table with friends and family, the act of sharing food does more than fill the belly. It connects us with others and feeds the soul.

Free Holiday eBook | 19 Recipes for Christmas Cookies & More

If gathering around the table with family and friends makes your December sparkle I think you’ll enjoy our updated free Holiday eBook. It includes some of my favourite molasses cookie recipes and a selection of other homemade treats that are perfect for sharing.

This updated book also includes warming drinks and some new gluten-free Holiday treats (coconut macaroons and almond tuiles).

I hope that these recipes give you more ways to share during this season of giving and gathering.

Download your free eBook here:

Free Holiday eBook | 19 Recipes for Christmas Cookies & More

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Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Toffee Sauce

Servings: 12 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hours

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Chocolate gingerbread bundt cake is a beautifully spiced Holiday cake meant for sharing.

Chocolate gingerbread bundt cake is a beautifully spiced Holiday cake meant for sharing.

If you’re in need of a dessert idea for a Holiday gathering chocolate gingerbread bundt cake is your answer. Beautifully spiced and with a firm crumb it’s the kind of cake that is easy to slice and travels well. Even better, it doesn’t need frosting. Just a sprinkling of icing sugar will dress it up enough and a generous drizzle of molasses toffee sauce will make it extra special.

Chocolate gingerbread bundt cake is a beautifully spiced Holiday cake meant for sharing.

I brought this chocolate gingerbread bundt cake to a gathering with friends over the weekend. We hadn’t shared a meal with them in years and this felt like the perfect cake to celebrate reconnecting with old friends.  (One day soon I’ll share the recipe for soy-glazed salmon that they served as the main dish.)

If you didn’t already know, chocolate, spice and molasses are a lovely combination. This isn’t a chocolate cake, per se, but you can catch a hint of chocolate flavour in each bite.

The full tablespoon of ginger in this recipe is no typo and even with all of the spice this cake has a mild flavour.

This recipe is from a Sobeys recipe magazine (link at bottom of post).

Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour, spooned in
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 2/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 or 10-in. bundt or tube pan and dust with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.
  3. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in molasses and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream (beginning and ending with the dry mixture).
  5. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 50 minutes to an hour, until a tester comes out clean when inserted into centre of cake and when the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Cool cake in pan for 10-20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. When ready to serve, sprinkle over icing sugar.

Serve with Molasses Toffee Sauce

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Chocolate gingerbread bundt cake is a beautifully spiced Holiday cake meant for sharing.

 

Find this recipe and more:

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

 

Healthier Carrot Cake Recipe for a Crowd

Servings: 15-20 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 10 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

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

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.

 

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.

 

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 Recipe

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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10 Easy Appetizers for New Year’s Eve

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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…

Most of the recipes below are adaptable, making it easy to substitute chicken, beef or pork for the salmon or shrimp. 

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.

Tip: Try this recipe with ground turkey

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.

Tip: The peanut dipping sauce that goes with this recipe is great for vegetables too.

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.

Tip: This marinade can be used with chicken (cut into cubes or strips) and even cauliflower. 

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.

Tip: 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.

Tip: Try this marinade with thinly sliced beef.

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

Servings: 4 serving(s)

Prep time: 25 minutes

Total time: 85 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

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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 Recipe

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

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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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.
    Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift or 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.

 

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 Pecan Recipe

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

Servings: 18-20 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

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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.

  • gingerbread 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.

 

 

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.

 

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 Recipe

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.

 

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Easy Molasses Almond Tuiles

Servings: 50 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

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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.
    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.

 

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 Tuile Recipe

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

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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

 

 

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies a Double-Decker Delight

Servings: 20 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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

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

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

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

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

Whoopie pies will always delight!

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

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

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

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies Recipe

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

Simple Butter Frosting:

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

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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. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe

Maple Molasses Caramel Corn

Servings: 8-10 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 65 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

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

Maple Molasses Caramel Corn is almost too easy to make.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Maple Molasses Caramel Corn Recipe

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

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Easy Pumpkin Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Glaze

Servings: 6-8 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 65 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Take me to the recipe

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

Are you in search of the perfect cake for fall?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easy Pumpkin Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Glaze Recipe

Slightly adapted from Rose Reisman

Ingredients:

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

Icing:

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

Instructions:

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

To make the icing:

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

 

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread Cake

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 95 minutes

Cooking time: 75 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread is a rich and very moist cake with beautifully balanced spicing. Serve on its own - no frosting or ice cream necessary.

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread is a rich and very moist cake with beautifully balanced spicing. Serve on its own – no frosting or ice cream necessary.

My mom has been baking this Upside Down Apple Gingerbread for years.  It’s a recipe she clipped out of a magazine sometime in the late 1960’s. The recipe was so popular that it made its way into her giant handwritten cookbook.

 

Sometimes old recipes are the best.

I rediscovered the recipe the other day when I was flipping through an old stack of handwritten recipe cards from my university days. The cake caught my eye because I have been buying bushels of apples at our local farmers market and all things apple were top of mind.

  • Pain d’épices renversé aux pommes
    Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread is a rich and very moist cake with beautifully balanced spicing. Serve on its own – no frosting or ice cream necessary.

 

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread is a rich and very moist cake that needs no accompaniment. If you can’t resist serving something alongside, choose whipped cream or crème fraiche.  (Anything sweeter might be over the top.)

It is especially good served warm.

 

I lined my pan with parchment paper because I was paranoid about the cake sticking. It worked but the apples didn’t caramelize like they would have against the bottom of a metal pan so next time I’ll skip the parchment paper like I did with this recipe for Rhubarb Upside Down Cake.

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread Recipe

Ingredients:

For the topping (which begins as the bottom):

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar

For the cake:

  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp ginger
  • 1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F
  2. Put the 1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. of butter in a high-sided  9” pan and place it in the oven for a few minutes, until the butter melts. Remove it from the oven and use a pastry brush to coat the sides of the pan with the butter. Sprinkle the 2/3 cup of brown sugar over the melted butter in the bottom of the pan. Place the sliced apples on the sugar in a circular pattern.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and spices.
  4. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the ½ cup brown sugar. Whisk in the molasses and ¾ cup melted butter. Stir in the flour mixture. Add boiling water last and beat well.
  5. Pour into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 325 F for 60-75 minutes, until the middle is set. (The variety and freshness of your apples will affect cooking time.)

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Molasses Pull Taffy Recipe from The Amazing Race Canada

Servings: many serving(s)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Molasses pull taffy recipe is easy to follow and great fun to make with kids.

This molasses pull taffy recipe is easy to follow and great fun to make with kids. (Or Amazing Race Canada teams.)

Who doesn’t love an old fashioned taffy pull?

When I was little, making this molasses pull taffy recipe was great fun. Slathering our hands with butter and pulling great gobs of soft taffy into glossy brittle strands was just about the ultimate in kitchen fun.

 

But then there’s competitive taffy pulling…

Amazing Race Canada takes the Molasses Pull Taffy Challenge:

 

An old fashioned taffy pull became a competitive sport last spring when The Amazing Race Canada teams visited our plant in Saint John during filming for the show’s fourth season.

Teams were challenged to make a triple batch of this old Crosby’s molasses pull taffy recipe:

Molasses Pull Taffy Recipe from The Amazing Race Canada

Cooking under pressure is stressful. All four teams arrived at our plant for the sticky challenge – a four-way cook-off — in a race to be the first to complete the task.

  • This molasses pull taffy recipe is easy to follow and great fun to make with kids. (Or Amazing Race Canada teams

 

“A watched pot never boils”, so the saying goes…

In a race where time is everything, waiting for the taffy mixture to come to temperature was more than a little painful (even for those of us who were spectators). And waiting for it to cool enough to handle…

 

In the end all four teams met the challenge and raced off to St. Andrews for the next leg of the competition.

Now is your chance to compete…

Molasses Pull Taffy Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda

Instructions:

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, combine molasses, sugar, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until mixture reaches 255 F (or when a small amount dropped in cold water turns hard).
  2. Remove from heat and add butter, cream of tartar and baking soda. Pour onto a buttered, sided cookie sheet.
  3. When cool enough to handle, pull pieces of taffy until light in color. (Butter hands before pulling).
  4. Twist and cut into 1” pieces. Wrap in parchment paper.

 

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Wholesome Lemon Poppy Seed Scones {Refined Sugar-Free}

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Take me to the recipe

lemon poppy seed scones are sweetened with molasses and maple syrup. No refined sugar. Use whole wheat pastry flour to make them extra wholesome.

A wholesome scone with no refined sugar.

If you thought muffins were easy to make wait until you try these lemon poppy seed scones. They’re quick to whip up and take hardly any time to bake. Enjoy them for breakfast with fresh jam or as an afternoon snack.

Scones are an easy way to make a slow summer morning feel a bit like a holiday.

You’ll have these scones in the oven in about 10 minutes and they’ll be cooling on the counter in under 20 minutes. Be sure to eat them while they’re still warm. Scones are always best on the day they’re made so eat up.

lemon poppy seed scones are sweetened with molasses and maple syrup. No refined sugar. Use whole wheat pastry flour to make them extra wholesome.

Lemon poppy seed scones are sweetened with molasses and maple syrup. No refined sugar. Use whole wheat pastry flour to make them extra wholesome.

Lemon poppy seed scones were our morning snack last weekend before we headed off to the Fundy Trail, a spectacular driving and hiking route along the Bay of Fundy in Southern New Brunswick.

Lemon Poppy Seed Scone Recipe

Adapted from the lovely blog Naturally Ella

Ingredients:

  • 2 1⁄4 cups flour (can use half whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 1⁄2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream or milk (plus more for brushing)
  • 3 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Icing

  • 1⁄2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 ̊F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. Cut in the butter until it’s  pea-sized.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk egg, heavy cream, lemon juice, molasses and maple syrup. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Scrape dough onto a floured surface, knead lightly until it just comes together then lightly pat into an 8” circle that’s an inch or so thick. Cut into 8 wedges.
  5. Set wedges to the prepared baking sheet about 2” apart.  Brush with heavy cream. Bake the scones until firm to the touch and golden, 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

To make the icing:

  1. Whisk icing sugar, milk and lemon zest in a bowl.
  2. While scones are still warm drizzle or spoon over the icing.

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Whole Orange Molasses Cake

Servings: 10-12 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 65 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Whole Orange Molasses Cake is moist and so flavourful. Made with olive oil and two oranges.
If a muffin became a cake, this Whole Orange Molasses Cake would be it.

Olive oil cakes are a traditional sweet from the Mediterranean region. They’re moist and often flavoured with orange. They’re also usually sweetened with honey, but molasses and orange are such a perfect pairing that swapping out the honey was an easy option.

There is a freshness to orange cake that reminds me of spring. It’s all in the flavour, I suppose, but this cake also lends itself to light frostings and additional fruit, kind of like strawberry shortcake. In fact, this cake would be terrific with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. And the cake itself isn’t too sweet, which is why it reminds me a bit of a muffin.

  • Whole Orange Molasses Cake is moist and so flavourful. Made with olive oil and two oranges.
    This recipe makes two 8-inch cakes, perfect for layering with your favourite jam and whipped cream.

 

 

This recipe makes two 8-inch cakes, perfect for layering with your favourite jam and whipped cream. I enjoy Whole Orange Molasses Cake served Washington Pie-style, filled with my Uncle Walter’s black currant blueberry preserves and whipped coconut cream. If you want to make the cake even more orange-y, add the zest of one of the oranges to the batter.

Whole Orange Molasses Cake Recipe

Adapted from the lovely blog, Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Grease two 8” round cake pans (lining the bottoms with parchment is helpful).
  2. Place the oranges and molasses in a food processor and pulse to a pulpy juice.
  3. In a large bowl whisk the sugar, eggs, and olive oil until combined.
  4. In another bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. To combine all three mixtures: Stir in the flour mixture into the egg mixture, alternating with the orange juice mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir just until combined.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the tops spring back and a tester comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
  7. Let cool slightly before removing from pan.

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Easy Hot Water Gingerbread with Lemon Curd

Servings: 8-10 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Easy hot water gingerbread is quick to mix up and makes a great snack cake. Or you can dress it up with lemon curd.

An old fashioned gingerbread for spring.

This easy hot water gingerbread is about the simplest cake recipe out there. It’s practically as fool proof as a cake mix. You toss into a bowl everything but the flour and water. Then mix. Next, add the water. Then mix. And finally, add the flour.

Its a method that’s exactly what your junior high home-ec teacher taught you not to do but it works and the result is a beautifully-textured gingerbread.

Easy hot water gingerbread is quick to mix up and makes a great snack cake. Or you can dress it up with lemon curd.

This kind of old fashioned gingerbread is comfort food for me. Something about the flavour of ginger, the moist texture of the cake and the smell of the cake baking makes me feel just a little bit warmer on a damp spring day.

This easy hot water gingerbread can be a true snacking cake – a bit like a muffin, only sweeter. If you want to dress it up, just sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar.

Easy hot water gingerbread is quick to mix up and makes a great snack cake. Or you can dress it up with lemon curd.

Lemon sauce or lemon curd is an old fashioned accompaniment to gingerbread, something that my grandmother always served with this spiced cake. It helps gingerbread transition from winter to spring.  Below the gingerbread recipe you’ll find a link to my go-to recipe for lemon curd. It’s very easy (my daughter has been making it since she was 9) and is very tart.

Easy hot water gingerbread is quick to mix up and makes a great snack cake. Or you can dress it up with lemon curd.

This recipe for easy hot water gingerbread came from the Nova Scotia publication, Saltscapes magazine

Easy Hot Water Gingerbread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup hot water or hot tea
  • 2 1/2 cups flour

Optional:
Icing sugar for sprinkling
Whipped cream
Lemon curd

Instructions:

  1. Grease and flour a 9” high-sided cake pan (round or square) or line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine egg, sugar, butter, molasses, salt, baking soda and ginger.
  3. When thoroughly blended, add hot water; stir, then add flour.
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar if you like. Serve with whipped cream and/or lemon curd.

 

Molasses Oat Blondies for Oven-Baked S’mores

Servings: 8-10 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 60 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Molasses Oat Blondies for Oven-baked S'Mores

Sometimes all it takes to be Super Mom is some chocolate and marshmallows.

Perfectly delicious Molasses Oat Blondies make a yummy base for oven-baked s’mores and they’re so simple — just plop a little chocolate and some marshmallows on top at the end of baking and put them back in the oven. Then cut into marshmallow-sized pieces for a messy but appealing treat.

The s’mores version of these blondies was like catnip for my kids. More often than not they take homemade baked goods for granted but this recipe stood out. They lined up for their molasses oat s’mores.

Molasses Oat Blondies for Oven-baked S'Mores

 

These squares are surprisingly rich on their own but have a wholesome sort of taste thanks to the rolled oats. Feel free to use some wholegrain flour in the mix (whole wheat or spelt) to add more fibre, flavour and nutrition. And the 2 tablespoons of vanilla in the recipe is not a typo. The vanilla gives them somewhat of a grown up flavour but can be scaled back to one tablespoon if you think it will be too overwhelming for you.

Molasses Oat Blondies for Oven-baked S'Mores

Like all good brownies (and blondies), these are a little chewy and are great with anything on top. If s’mores aren’t your thing cut them into larger pieces and serve with a scoop of ice cream.

Molasses Oat Blondies for Oven-baked S’Mores Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats, pulsed in the blender for a couple of seconds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 7 Tbsp. cold butter
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 5 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla 

Instructions:

  1. Butter a 9”x9” baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Cut in the cold butter until only pea-size or smaller pieces remain.
  5. In a small bowl whisk the molasses, milk and vanilla.
  6. Add wet to dry and stir until well combined.
  7. Scrape batter into prepared pan, spread evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes.

To make the S’Mores version:

Once they’re cooked, top with ½ cup chocolate chips and 10 marshmallows that have been cut in half. Place back in a 350 F oven for 5-10 minutes, until the marshmallows are golden on top.

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Molasses Oat Blondies for Oven-baked S'Mores

30-Minute Cinnamon Sticky Buns

Servings: 9 buns serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Take me to the recipe

30 minute cinnamon sticky buns

Who can resist cinnamon sticky buns on Easter morning?

There is something about Easter weekend that makes me crave homemade baked goods, and not just any bread, muffin or scone. I crave special treats like these cinnamon sticky buns.

I know that cinnamon buns made with yeast dough are delicious and soft but I’m not always in the mood to take the time. If my kids are requesting sticky buns and I want to serve them up quickly I make these cinnamon sticky buns. Made with a simple biscuit dough they’re quick and easy to mix up and take next to no time to bake. In fact, I should really be requesting that my kids bake these for me on Easter morning.

30 minute cinnamon sticky buns

These are smallish cinnamon buns so plan for two per person. That’s just right for my family of four. If you have more mouths to feed or would like leftovers I suggest you make two batches.

30-Minute Cinnamon Sticky Buns

From the delightful cookbook, Alice Eats, by Julie Van Rosendaal

Makes 9 buns

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses

Dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

Filling:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Place the sauce ingredients in an 8”x 8” metal pan and place it in the oven for a few minutes, until the butter melts.
  3. In the meantime, in a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the milk and oil and stir gently until just combined.
  4. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 9”x 14” rectangle.
  5. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon and drizzle over the molasses.
  6. Starting from the long side, roll into a log. Using a serrated knife, slice into 9 rolls.
  7. Remove pan from the oven and stir to combine. Place the rolls on the pan (cut side down for the two end pieces.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbly.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes (no more) and then invert onto a plate.

 

Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

Servings: 1 loaf serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hours

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Dark chocolate banana bread is mildly sweet with a very fine crumb and subtle banana flavour. Extra chocolaty with a whole cup of cocoa powder and half a cup of dark chocolate chips.

Dark chocolate banana bread is mildly sweet with a very fine crumb and subtle banana flavour. It’s extra chocolaty with a whole cup of cocoa powder and half a cup of dark chocolate chips.

We have all found ourselves in this position…

So many bananas, so little time. Whether they’re over ripe on the counter or over ripe and a great deal at the grocery store, I’m sure we have all found ourselves with bananas that are just perfect for cooking. So we whip up a batch of banana muffins or bake a loaf of banana bread.

Dark chocolate banana bread is mildly sweet with a very fine crumb and subtle banana flavour. Extra chocolaty with a whole cup of cocoa powder and half a cup of dark chocolate chips.

This is not your mother’s banana bread.

With it’s intense chocolate flavour and fine crumb, chocolate banana bread is more of a sophisticated loaf than a traditional banana bread. It goes beautifully alongside a cup of coffee and isn’t too sweet either so you really could justify eating a slice with breakfast. Chocolate banana bread needs nothing on it, not even butter, (although it does taste nice with a little peanut butter.)

You can make one giant loaf or split it between two medium-sized loaf pans. It takes a good long time to bake so choose your pans according to how long you’re willing to wait to eat it.

Dark Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe

An adaptation of a popular Dorie Greenspan recipe
Makes one very large 9-inch loaf or two smaller pans

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour, spooned in
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.*
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sifted cocoa, baking powder, baking soda & salt. 
  3. In a large bowl cream the butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in the molasses then the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the mashed bananas.
  4. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing gently until almost incorporated. Stir in the milk then fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Scrape the batter into prepared pan.
  6. Set an insulated cookie sheet in the oven and place the banana bread pan on the cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes then cover the bread loosely with a piece of foil.
  8. Bake for another 45-60 minutes (total baking time is between 75 minutes to 1 ½ hours), or until a wooden skewer into the center comes out almost clean.
  9. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before pulling it out of the pan, parchment paper and all.
  10. Let cool completely before slicing.

 Store in an airtight tin up to three days.

*If you divide the batter between two pans adjust the baking time accordingly. (You might want to start checking the breads at about 40 minutes).

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Molasses Pound Cake with a Doughnut Glaze

Servings: 12 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 90 minutes

Cooking time: 70 minutes

Take me to the recipe

Molasses Pound Cake is a beautifully textured cake with a doughnut-style glaze and buttery molasses flavour.Molasses Pound Cake is a beautifully textured cake with a doughnut-style glaze and buttery molasses flavour.

I have always loved the texture of pound cake. Even when I was very little I knew exactly the difference between a pound cake and other cakes. And even though my mom baked all the time, occasionally my dad would arrive home with one of those block-shaped grocery store pound cakes and we’d all devour it in one sitting.

Molasses Pound Cake is a beautifully textured cake with a doughnut-style glaze and buttery molasses flavour.

The wonder of a pound cake, aside from the buttery flavour and dense crumb, is that it cuts so beautifully. This recipe makes a good-sized cake that can feed a crowd. Slice the pieces as thin as you’d like and nary a crumb will fall. That’s not to say this pound cake is tough — it has a gorgeous texture. The glaze, reminiscent of a doughnut glaze, is all this rich cake needs as a topper.

Molasses Pound Cake is a beautifully textured cake with a doughnut-style glaze and buttery molasses flavour.

The recipe is adapted from a maple cake recipe in the newish cookbook published by Barry Parsons of the excellent East Coast blog, Rock Recipes.

Molasses Pound Cake with a Doughnut-Style Glaze Recipe

Serves 12 or more*

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses

Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. evaporated milk
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and flour a 10 cup tube or bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder and soda.
  3. In a small bowl whisk the milk and molasses.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter with white and brown sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for about an hour, until the top springs back when lightly touched and the cake is beginning to pull away from the side of the pan.
  6. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes then remove from pan and set to cool. When cooled, drizzle over the glaze.

*The recipe can be baked in 2 loaf pans

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Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch Toffee with Candied Ginger

Servings: 20 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch with Candied Ginger and dark chocolateCranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch Toffee: A crunchy butterscotch toffee that you just can’t stop eating…

I grew up eating a delicious toffee concoction called Fredericton Walnut Toffee. The recipe is from the excellent The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook and it’s a holiday favourite in our house. This Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch Toffee recipe is a variation of that iconic toffee. It has crunch and that irresistible butterscotch flavour, but the addition of hazelnuts, dried cranberries and candied ginger makes it extra festive. 

Hazelnuts can sometimes dominate in a recipe but here they’re a bit subdued in the lovely flavour trio they create with the cranberries and candied ginger. The chocolate is nice but the whole amount is unnecessary. Depending on your mood and preference, you can reduce the chocolate by half so omit it from the first layer and save it for the top.

Also, I prefer my buttercrunch on the thin side so spread this mixture out on a cookie sheet. If you like your buttercrunch thicker go with the 9”x13” pan for this recipe.

Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch with Candied Ginger and dark chocolate

 

The recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour. Their version called for corn syrup, of which I am not a fan. Fancy molasses is a natural, and wholesome, substitute for corn syrup.

Cranberry Hazelnut Buttercrunch Toffee with Candied Ginger Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts (skins removed)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup diced candied ginger
  • 2 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (divided)*

Instructions:

  1. Line a 9”x13” pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Combine nuts, cranberries and candied ginger in a bowl and stir to mix.
  3. Pour half of the nut mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle over half of the chocolate chips.
  4. In a medium pot, over medium heat, melt the butter, stir in the salt, sugar, water and molasses and bring mixture to the boil.
  5. Boil gently without stirring until the mixtures reaches 300 F (hard crack stage). If you don’t have a candy thermometer test the caramel by dropping a dollop in a glass of cold water. If it hardens quickly and is brittle or breaks like hard candy then it’s ready. If it has some softness to it then it still has a little cooking to do. Watch it closely near the end so it doesn’t burn.
  6. When the toffee is ready pour it evenly over the nut mixture in the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle over the remaining half of the chocolate chips and then the remaining nut mixture.
  8. After 5 minutes or so, with the back of a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, gently press on the top mixture to spread the chocolate around.
  9. Leave to cool then break into chunks.
  10. Store in an airtight tin for up to three weeks.

*Using only half of the chocolate chips is nice too. Omit them from the base layer (step 3) and save them for the top layer (step 7).

Easy Edible Gifts You Can Make in a Jiffy

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Easy homemade gift ideas: edible gifts you can make in a jiffy

Swap baking for shopping with these four homemade gift ideas:

I was at a Yankee Swap the other night and the gift that I would have loved to take home was full of homemade goodies: a cute cable knit hat, homemade apple butter and homemade granola. It was the gift my friend Tiffany put together, gathered from her stash of homemade items that she has been making over the past few weeks. “We’re doing all homemade gifts this year,” she told us. It got me thinking about easy edible gifts that anyone can make if you can grab a spare half hour.

I love the idea of homemade gifts and not just because I prefer to avoid the mall. Homemade gifts are extra special, always thoughtful and tend to be on the practical side so get put to good use. If you get into an annual habit you’ll find that people will look forward to receiving your special gift and it just might become part of their holiday traditions too.

Making homemade gifts is also a way to cut down on your annual gift spending. I know ingredients aren’t cheap but most of these recipes make enough for at least a couple of gifts.

It isn’t too late to swap baking for shopping with some of your gifts this year. Here are a few suggestions:

Apple Cranberry Sauce: Lightly spiced and a gorgeous garnet colour, this quick and easy holiday staple can last up to two months in the fridge.

Easy edible gifts: Cranberry sauce with apple

 

Healthy Applesauce Granola: Bagged or packaged in mason jars this cranberry studded granola has a festive feel. (You might want to make extra for yourself.)

 Easy edible gifts: easy applesauce granola

“Cookies in a Jar”: A homemade cookie mix that includes the dry ingredients for our popular Orange Spice Crackle Cookies.

Easy edible gifts: homemade cookie mix in a jar: orange spice crackle cookies

Gingerbread Almonds: A deliciously sweet and spicy treat that is surprisingly easy to make.

Easy edible gifts: Gingerbread spiced almonds

 

 

 

Easy Molasses Walnut Meringues with Gingerbread Spices

Servings: 24-30 meringues serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 135 minutes

Cooking time: 120 minutes

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Molasses Walnut Meringues duested with gingerbread spices

I’m always amazed at bakers who create extra fancy sweets, the home cooks who make fantastically elaborate cakes and fiddly candies. Decorative details have never been my strength (probably why my cooking style tends to be on the rustic side.)

Once in a while I have the urge to create something that looks extra special. That’s why this recipe for Molasses Walnut Meringues caught my eye. While I’m no expert with a pastry bag, meringue I can make, and meringue has a way of looking fancy with next to no effort.

You might be surprised at how easy it is to make meringue — a few ingredients, a good set of beaters and you’re set. Be prepared to feel very accomplished with very little effort.

These meringues have a glossy golden look to them and are very pretty on a plate filled with Christmas cookies. The taste reminds me of the sponge toffee from my childhood and the texture is similar too.

Molasses Walnut Meringues duested with gingerbread spices

The cooking time presented with the recipe is very broad because sugary things can have a mind of their own. Molasses Walnut Meringues bake in a slow oven for a long time, until they dry out, which can vary depending on their size.

Molasses Walnut Meringues with Gingerbread Spices Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup egg whites, room temperature (about 4 eggs)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • Gingerbread spice blend (optional, recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat egg whites on medium until foamy (about 30 seconds). Whisk together granulated sugar, salt, cornstarch and icing sugar and gradually add to egg whites.
  3. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form (about 7-8 minutes.)
  4. Using a rubber spatula fold in the molasses and walnuts.
  5. Spoon mixture into a piping bag or a plastic bag with a bottom corner snipped off.
  6. Pipe onto prepared baking sheets (in either swirls or big dollops) about an inch apart.
  7. Dust lightly with a few pinches of gingerbread spices.
  8. Bake meringues until they have completely dried out, anywhere from  1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on the size and shape you choose.
  9. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.

Gingerbread Spice Blend

  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cloves

Blend spices and store in a cool, dry place.

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..

We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Molasses and More newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.