No-Bake Salted Coconut Molasses Bars & More Recipe Contest Winners

Take me to the recipe

no bake salted coconut molasses barsThis is a day for winners.

With yesterday’s election, and today’s media and water cooler buzz, I thought it was a fitting time to announce three additional Canadian champs – the bar recipes that came out on top in our recipe contest with members of Food Bloggers of Canada. You can click through to each blogger’s website for the recipe.

The grand winner:

Coco-lassies: No-Bake Salted Coconut Molasses Bars

no-bake salted coconut bars with chocolate

Created by Margaret at Kitchen Frau blog

A favourite of those who can’t resist the chocolate-coconut combo. This is a treat that feels healthy and decadent at the same time and somehow manages to not taste too coconut-y (thanks to the tang of the molasses that balances the coconut.)
 

Second place, by barely a flake of coconut (one point behind the winner):

Molasses Carmelitas

Molasses Carmelitas 3

Created by Jenny of The Brunette Baker blog

For those who love to indulge in chocolate and creamy caramel. These bars are rich, over the top and irresistible. The texture is delightful – a little crumbly on top, soft caramel in the middle and lots of chocolate in every bite.

Third place:

Molasses & Ginger Chew Granola Bars

molasses-and-ginger-chew-granola-bars-01

Created by Sam of the blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

A deceptively simple bar that’s full of surprises. If you like a classic granola bar with a little oomph then this is the bar for you. Generous on the candied ginger this bar has a clean wholesome feel and the sort of texture that keeps you nibbling away until half the pan is gone.

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.

 

Lemon Glazed Gingerbread Bites

Servings: 16 serving(s)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Take me to the recipe

lemon glazed gingerbread bites

Lemon and gingerbread…This isn’t some new-fangled flavour pairing, it’s an East Coast classic.

Lemon with gingerbread reminds me of my grandmother. She used to serve her gingerbread cake with a hot lemon sauce, which was how everyone around here ate it. And sometimes she’d glaze her soft molasses cookies with a lemon icing.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I grew up with the combination of lemon and molasses I might not get why they pair so beautifully.

lemon glazed gingerbread bites

I like to cut these squares very small so you can pop a whole square in your mouth at once. That way you’re tasting the lemon icing and the spices all at once, which is just how it should be.

These gingerbread squares have an especially delicious spice blend (5 spices in all) and they’re not too rich so can handle the sugary glaze.

Think brownies when you’re baking these squares. The shorter the baking time the more fudgy the squares will be.

lemon glazed gingerbread bites

 

Lemon Glazed Gingerbread Bite Recipe

Slightly adapted from The Runaway Spoon

Ingredients:

For the squares

  • 1-3/4 cups flour, spooned in
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment or grease it well.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and spices.
  3. In another bowl, combine the eggs, molasses, and melted butter until well combined.
  4. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated. Batter will be thick.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, using the back of a wooden spoon to press it out to the edges.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes (or until a tester comes out clean.)
  7. Cool for about 15 minutes then remove from ban by lifting the parchment by the edges. (Cool completely in pan if you didn’t use parchment.)

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cream or milk
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

While the bars are cooling, whisk together the glaze ingredients, making sure there are no lumps and adding a bit more icing sugar if it feels too thin. Pour over bars and spread to the edges. Or lift the bars by the parchment and tilt every which way to spread the glaze. Let glaze harden before cutting.

I recently discovered a lemon glaze recipe on the blog Kitchen Magpie that will forever replace my current method for lemon glaze.

The Kitchen Magpie Lemon Icing Glaze:

  • 1¾ cups of confectioners sugar
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • the zest of one lemon (or more!)
  • 1 tsp of salted butter

Here’s a link to the method

Scrumptious Brown Butter Molasses Blondies

Servings: 24 serving(s)

Prep time: 25 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Cooking time: 30 hours

Take me to the recipe

These Brown Butter Molasses Blondies are chewy like a good cookie, have an extra nutty flavour from the browned butter and are studded with chocolate chips.

Scrumptious Brown butter molasses blondies

January can be tough – All those adjusting-after-the-holidays aches and pains.

Great food and late nights give way to early mornings, rushed dinners and routine.

Why on earth people throw New Year’s Resolutions into the mix I’ll never know.

Scrumptious Brown butter molasses blondies

While we all endure the deep freeze and now brace for a weekend of rain I’m tossing a little indulgence into the mix, to lighten the load that is January.

These Brown Butter Molasses Blondies are chewy like a good cookie, have an extra nutty flavour from the browned butter and are studded with a few chocolate chips. (Flavor wise it’s worth the effort to brown the butter).

The recipe makes a 9” by 13” pan so there are lots to share. Cut them into large squares and top with ice cream for an extra treat. If you’re a fan of brownies then you’ll love these too…

Brown Butter Molasses Blondies

Adapted from Picky Palate

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ to ¾ cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9”x 13” pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium pot melt the butter over medium heat and let it bubble away for a bit until it starts to brown and get a delicious caramelized smell. This could take 10-15 minutes, depending on your pot.*
  3. Let the butter cool for a few minutes then stir in the brown sugar. Combine well then add the molasses.
  4. Pour into a large bowl and add add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. In another bowl combine the flours, baking soda, ginger and salt. Add to the butter-sugar mixture. Toss in the chocolate chips and mix until everything is incorporated.
  6. Spread the batter in the pan, right to the edges. (This dough is on the stiff side.)
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Don’t over bake!
  8. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then lift them out of the pan, parchment and all, onto the cooling rack.

*You can just melt the butter and move onto the next step if you don’t have the time to let it brown.

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. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe

Almond butter cereal bars a tasty remake of the 1970s classic

Take me to the recipe

Almond butter cereal bars

Remember cereal bars from the 1970s?

My mom made them all the time. She was forever on the lookout for big batch sweets because there were seven of us kids rushing in the door after school each day, famished and ready to devour anything on the counter.

Almond butter cereal bars

Mom used to buy these huge bags of puffed wheat cereal that were about half the size of our dishwasher.

I swear they took up a full seat in the car coming home from the grocery store.

I wasn’t much for eating puffed wheat or puffed rice with milk (too much floating and the sugar wouldn’t stick) but I loved the big batch cereal bars. A little chewy, they always seemed to last longer than a cookie and mom cut them into nice big squares.

It was likely cereal squares that I made to get my “Baker” badge in Brownies. They’re that easy. Just melt a few ingredients together in a big pot, stir in the cereal and press them into a pan. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool.

baker

The only hitch with mom’s recipe is that they used to stick together in the tin. A thin coating of dark chocolate on the top mostly takes care if that and it dresses them up a bit.

(Did you get your “Baker” badge in Brownies?)

 

There are so many kinds of puffed cereal available these days that you can make a different kind of cereal bar every week, if you like. Here’s a chewy gluten-free version with puffed millet:

Gluten free almond butter cereal bars with puffed millet

 

 

Almond butter cereal bars

Inspired by Aida Mollenkamp and my mom

  • 10 Tbsp. almond butter (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 3 ½ cups puffed kamut, rice,  millet or quinoa
  • ½ cup (heaping) of dark chocolate pieces (chocolate chips or 70% bar broken into pieces)
  1. Like an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat combine the almond butter, molasses and honey or maple syrup.
  3. Stir until it comes to a gentle boil.
  4. Let it bubble for 30 seconds to a minute then add the vanilla, salt and pour in the cereal.
  5. Stir well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Scrape the mixture into the prepared plan.
  6. Press lightly to spread and flatten.
  7. While they’re cooling on the counter, melt the chocolate in a heavy pot, in the microwave or in a double boiler.
  8. Spread melted chocolate over top of the squares and refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
  9. Cut into squares.

Best eaten within two days.

Do you prefer your cereal squares crispy? Try our Crispy almond butter granola bars

crispy granola bars 2

 

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. The sign-up form is on the top left hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Here’s to eating well, everyday,

Bridget signature