Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Biscuits à l'avoine et aux raisins épais et moelleux

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.

Biscuits à l'avoine et aux raisins épais et moelleux

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. Grandma 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.

 

Gluten-Free Almond Cookies

Biscuits à l’amande faciles : belles saveur et texture; faibles en glucides et en calories; sans gluten ni sucre raffiné; végétaliens et paléo.

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 are quick to mix up, the dough needs no chilling and they bake in 12 minutes flat.

Biscuits à l’amande faciles : belles saveur et texture; faibles en glucides et en calories; sans gluten ni sucre raffiné; végétaliens et paléo.

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 and contain no refined sugar.

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

 

 

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Bouchées énergétiques à l’avoine et au beurre d'arachide

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites – a healthy snack option that’s quick and easy.

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.

peanut butter energy balls 3 sm

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.

 

Sweet Chili Barbecue Sauce

sweet chili BBQ sauce sm

Why buy barbecue sauce when you can make your own, in 15 minutes.

Getting your weekend barbecue off to a flying start can be as simple as having a really great barbecue sauce on hand. Of course you can buy the sauce, but why not make your own? This classic Sweet Chili Barbecue Sauce is quick, easy and has the kind of made-from-scratch flavor that will make your barbecue favourites taste extra delicious.

I’m still learning my way around the grill and more often than not will default to my grill pan on the stovetop. But I do love the sounds and smells of the barbecue so am slowing building my skills. When I’m cooking on the barbecue I consider my meat thermometer and a great barbecue sauce my safety nets. I still often overcook things (err on the side of caution) but they always taste good.

This recipe is an adaptation of our Beer Barbecue Sauce recipe, the backyard staple from my childhood.

We love Sweet Chili Barbecue Sauce slathered on burgers, chicken and as a final basting sauce for spice rubbed ribs.

It will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge so make a double batch and leave it in your fridge. A jar of this sauce along with the recipe makes a great gift for your backyard grill kings and queens.

Sweet Chili Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • ½ cup grated onion
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  1.  In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil until it shimmers then add the onion. Saute until the onion just starts to brown then whisk in remaining ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.

 

 

Bakery Style Molasses Crinkle Cookies

 

Bakery-style-molasses-cookies-2sm-2Bakery Style Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Makes 20-22 cookies

  • ½ cup butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour, spooned in
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Sugar for rolling
  1. Preheat to 375°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter in a medium-sized pot. When just melted remove from heat and stir in the white and brown sugar. Stir in the molasses then the egg, mixing well.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt just until combined.
  4. At this point the dough can be refrigerated or you can bake the cookies right away.
  5. Place rolling sugar in a small bowl.
  6. Scoop dough by the tablespoonful and roll into balls. Roll in sugar and set on prepared sheet, about 2” apart.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes. Once set, remove to wire racks and let cool completely.

Bakery-style-molasses-cookies-3sm2

Pecan Praline No-Churn Ice Cream

no-churn-ice-cream-2sm

Pecan Praline No-Churn Ice Cream

Yield: about 1 liter (1 quart) of ice cream

For the praline:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Grandma Molasses
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup pecans

For the ice cream:

  • 1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, molasses, butter, cinnamon and salt. Add the pecans and stir until they are well coated. Spread the nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes until they are bubbling and dark in colour. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Chop the cooled and hardened pecan praline into small pieces.
  2. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the molasses. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Drizzle in the condensed milk mixture and continue to whip until all the condensed milk is incorporated into the cream and the mixture is thick.
  3. Fold the chopped pecan praline into the cream mixture, and spread this in the prepared pan. Cover and freeze for at least 6 hours. 

Molasses-ice-cream-close-sm

Ginger Cardamom Rhubarb Crisp

Ginger-rhubarb-crisp-crop-800

Ginger Cardamom Rhubarb Crisp

  • 5 cups chopped rhubarb
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Grandma Molasses
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp. flour

Topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ cup butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a medium bowl combine rhubarb with sugar, molasses, spices and flour. Toss to coat and scrape into a 9”x9” (or thereabouts) baking dish.
  3. In another bowl combine the flour, oats, sugar and ginger.
  4. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or rub with your fingers, until the mixture forms pea-sized chunks.
  5. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture and bake for about 35 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is starting to brown.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of fresh cream.

Ginger-rhubarb-crisp-2

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

oatmeal chocolate chip cookieshttp://www.grandmamolasses.com/The mom-child cookie compromise

If there was a list of all-time family-friendly cookies this recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies would be on it. A classic from the Fanny Farmer cookbook this recipe has more than stood the test of time.

(Originally published in 1896 as The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer, it became the cookbook that taught generations of Americans how to cook.)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are kid-friendly and mom-friendly.

Any cookie with chocolate chips is a hit in my house, but as a mom, I feel the need to stuff a little nourishment into my kids’ snack too. That’s where the rolled oats, flax and nuts or seeds come in.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with a healthy twist are a good cookie compromise.

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

There’s nothing like an old fashioned oatmeal cookie to make you feel satisfied. They’re filling in a way that other cookies aren’t and leave you feeling like you’ve had a bit of a healthy treat.

Healthy tips:

  • To add fibre and flavour use stone ground whole white flour for these cookies, or substitute whole wheat flour for ¾ cup of the white flour.
  • You can reduce the sugar to 2/3 of a cup.

Cape Cod Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins or chocolate chips (or half and half)
  • ½ cup walnuts

Instructions:

  1. Can substitute sunflower or pumpkin seeds for the walnuts to make them school friendly
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F
  3. In a medium bowl combine flour, flax baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  4. In a large bowl whisk the egg with the sugar then add the melted butter.  Whisk in the molasses and milk.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture then the rolled oats, chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Mix until well combined and drop by heaping teaspoonful on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set.

 

Ginger Molasses Biscuits for Strawberry Shortcake

ginger molasses biscuits

Bring on summer!

A classic biscuit-style strawberry shortcake is one of my favourite desserts. It’s a down-to-earth treat that always feels special, particularly when in-season strawberries are in the markets.

This is the dessert my daughter always requests for her birthday, although her birthday is in late January. I understand where she’s coming from though: strawberry shortcake represents the sun-baked promise of summer after a long cold winter.

ginger molasses biscuits

Ginger molasses biscuits are a delicious addition to your strawberry shortcake. The flavours of molasses and ginger pair beautifully with strawberries and whipped cream and the biscuits are just sweet enough to work in a dessert.

Healthy tip: For a lighter take on your strawberry shortcake, mix your whipped cream with Greek yogurt (half and half).  

Ginger Molasses Biscuits for Strawberry Shortcake

Makes about 10 3” biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cold milk
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Grandma Molasses

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger.
  2. In another bowl combine the milk and vinegar and let sit for five minutes.
  3. Cut butter into the dry ingredients, until butter is pea-sized.
  4. Stir molasses into milk mixture and pour over flour-butter mixture.
  5. Stir gently until barely combined.
  6. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough comes together and is mostly smooth (about 10 times).
  7. Gently pat or roll out dough to ¾” thickness. Cut into rounds with a 3” biscuit cutter.
  8. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the fridge for an hour (if you have time).

When ready to bake:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Place biscuits in oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 400 F.
  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until done.

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

rhubarb streusel muffins

It’s still too early for rhubarb in Southern New Brunswick but it won’t be long. The snow is barely gone but the gardens have responded to the late spring warmth with gusto and are racing to catch up.

While I watch my garden (and rhubarb) grow I’m enjoying the last of my stash of frozen rhubarb. I have been making rhubarb compote to stir into yogurt, rhubarb juice to drink with sparkling water and am now onto this rhubarb muffin recipe.

The more rhubarb I eat the more it feels like spring.

rhubarb streusel muffins

Rhubarb streusel muffins are light textured and not too sweet. I dice the rhubarb quite small to avoid getting a soggy mouthful.

Feel free to use oil instead of melted butter (although you will sacrifice a little flavour). Ginger is a lovely replacement for cinnamon and lemon zest could stand in for the orange zest.

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

Makes 12-13 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. orange flower water (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups diced rhubarb

Streusel topping:

  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. soft butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and whisk to blend.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, molasses, eggs, vanilla and orange flower water until smooth. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the dry ingredients until the batter just comes together; do not overmix. Gently stir in the diced rhubarb. The batter will be thick.
  4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. The batter should mound a bit higher than the tops of the cups.
  5. Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and butter and rub together with your fingers. Sprinkle over each muffin.
  6. Bake the muffins until they’re golden brown and spring back when gently pressed about 18minutes. Transfer to a rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift the muffins out of the pan and let them cool. Serve warm.

 

Sticky Toffee Pudding a Dessert to make you Swoon

sticky toffee pudding

This little cupcake-style sticky pudding can be deceiving.  Just when you think it’s looking very much like a regular cake with a lovely tender crumb you take a bit and go flying off to heaven. The texture is exquisite with the pureed dates and the flavour is incredible. And that is all before your douse the little puddings with warm toffee sauce.

sticky toffee pudding

Really, you might as well start with dessert on an evening when you’re serving Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s so satisfying that I can’t see a need to eat anything else afterwards.

This recipe makes more than a dozen little puddings so you’ll have some left over. Another option is to bake them in little bread tins and cut them in slabs before serving, which I have done to great effect.

Perfect Sticky Toffee Pudding

Slightly adapted from Rock Recipes

Makes 14-16 muffin-sized puddings.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces chopped pitted dried dates (15-20 pitted dates)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 5 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1⅔ cups flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions

To prepare the pudding

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and flour muffin tins.
  2. Add the dates and water to a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for two minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter brown sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the molasses and beat well.
  6. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in three additions and mix until smooth.
  8. Puree the date mixture in a food processor or blender. Stir in the baking soda then add to the batter.
  9. Spoon batter into well-greased and floured muffin tins and bake for about 18 – 20 minutes at 350 F until the center is just firm.
  10. Let cool slightly before removing from tins. These have a delicate crumb so remove them carefully.

Don’t worry if the bottoms look a little messy. Once they’re coated in toffee sauce they’ll look lovely.

Serve warm with Toffee Sauce drizzled over. Or you can place them in an oven proof dish and coat with the sauce.

Taffy Toast a Sweet Buttery Treat

Toast caramel au beurre, un délice dont on ne se lasse pas

If you’re from Eastern Canada chances are your family has some sort of bread and molasses story.

Fresh bread with butter and molasses has been a dessert stand-in for decades (dare I say centuries) up and down the Eastern seaboard and throughout Quebec. In some places it was biscuits with molasses and everywhere there is the hot debate about what goes on first, the butter or the molasses. (If you butter first then the molasses just runs off. Molasses first seems to defy convention…)

I have yet to try toutons, the fried bread dough drizzled with molasses that is a favourite in Newfoundland but what I have become fond of is Taffy Toast, a childhood treat of Holly from Nova Scotia. When Holly told me about the childhood dessert treat that her mom used to make for her and her siblings I felt like the bread-and-molasses food group had been elevated to a whole new level. It’s sweet, buttery and crispy. Holly grew up calling it Taffy Toast and the name couldn’t be more apt.

Toast caramel au beurre, un délice dont on ne se lasse pas

Taffy Toast is a speedy treat that makes for a nice afterschool snack when the cookie jar is empty. (I have tested it on my children’s friends and they devour it in a flash.)

To end the molasses-first or butter-first debate I have tested this recipe both ways and the molasses-first version wins hands down.

Be sure not to overheat the pan or it will burn easily.

Taffy Toast

A molasses memory from Holly Bond

Makes two slices (10 fingers)

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread (porous bread is best since it lets the molasses soak in a bit more)
  • About 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses*
  • 1-2 tsp. butter

*If you’re using thick cut homemade bread you may need more molasses.

Instructions:

  1. Spread molasses on both sides of each slice of bread.
  2. Melt 1 tsp. butter in a fry pan over medium heat.
  3. Place bread in pan and fry until golden and just crispy.
  4. Flip and repeat.
  5. Slice into fingers and serve warm

No-Fuss Crispy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars

Ces barres de céréales croquantes aux canneberges et amandes remplissent les conditions : une gâterie sucrée un peu saine.

Packing healthy snacks for the ski hill, car trips or any old time isn’t always simple. Grabbing fruit is easy but finding a sweet treat that my kids will eat, is tasty, satisfying and full of healthy stuff isn’t always simple.

To keep my kids full (or at least full enough to last until lunch or supper) I need something that will stick with them, takes time to digest. I also need something that feels a bit like a treat because homemade snacks have tough competition — My kids’ first choice is always a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

These Crispy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars fit the bill. They’re a sweet treat that’s a bit healthy.

Ces barres de céréales croquantes aux canneberges et amandes remplissent les conditions : une gâterie sucrée un peu saine.

To make these school-friendly, or simply change them up, replace the almonds with a mixture of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. To really amp up the nutrition use half blackstrap molasses.

No-Fuss Crispy Cranberry Almond Granola Bars

Adapted from Foodess

Makes 18 generous bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats*
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal*
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup whole almonds, toasted
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • ⅓ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4½ oz (125 grams) coarsely chopped dark chocolate

*To make these gluten free choose gluten-free rolled oats and crisp rice cereal.

Instructions

  1. Line a 9”x9” pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Combine the oats, rice cereal, cranberries and almonds in a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter, molasses and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract (it will sputter).
  4. Pour hot syrup over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Allow to cool for a minute then stir in chopped chocolate. Press mixture firmly (and I mean firmly) into prepared pan and ensure it gets right to the edges. Try laying a sheet of parchment paper overtop to make it easier to press down.
  5. Refrigerate until set and cut into bars.

 

Healthy Gingerbread Muffins

A healthy start to 2015

I spent half of Sunday cleaning, pitching, de-cluttering and generally trying to organize our house. I went through piles of papers, drawers and cupboards…

The de-clutter urge comes but once a year so I have to make hay while the sun shines.

healthy gingerbread muffins

I de-clutter my cooking this time of year too. After all that rich food over Christmas I start to crave healthier, simpler recipes.

Healthy gingerbread muffins fit right into that category. They are true muffins — not too sweet and beautifully spiced, they offer a comforting gingerbread treat without the richness of a cake or the extra sweet of a cookie.

These muffins contain no refined sugar and instead are sweetened with flavourful fancy molasses and honey. They also contain a good amount of whole grain flour which adds fiber and flavour.

You can dress them up with a sprinkling of sugar or keep them plain. Either way they’re a tasty treat for a January day.

healthy gingerbread muffins

 Healthy Gingerbread Muffins

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup oil or melted butter
  • ½ cup Grandma Molasses
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup yogurt or sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ cups flour (spooned in)
  • 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour (spooned in)
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Coarse sugar for topping (optional)

 Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, molasses and honey. Whisk in the egg then yogurt and milk.
  3. In another bowl combine the flours, baking soda, salt and spices.
  4. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir gently just until combined. (Batter will be lumpy).
  5. Spoon batter into muffin tins and sprinkle with coarse sugar (if using).
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. (Muffins baked in a dark pan will cook more quickly).
  7. Let cool in tins for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

50 Molasses-Inspired Recipes in our New Cookbook

Free molasses cookbook

50 of our favourite everyday recipes in one new cookbook

This is what I have come to learn…

Eating well when you’re busy can seem impossible but it’s more a matter of resolve and a great stash of recipes than it is time and effort.

I know that’s easy to say, but when you think about it some of the tastiest recipes have barely a handful of ingredients and are quick to whip up, even if spending time in the kitchen isn’t really your thing.

That’s the spirit behind our new cookbook, Molasses and More.

For this collection we gathered 50 terrific everyday recipes, food that I cooked for my family over the past couple of years. This is week-night and weekend food, lunchbox snack food and delicious breakfast food.  This is REAL food that I shared with you on this website through my weekly blog posts.

Consider this new book your “Great stash of recipes.”

This new book goes to show that there’s a place at your table for molasses anytime of the day. From traditional baked goods to main dish meals, this book is all about wholesome and satisfying everyday food – the delicious with the nutritious, made all the better because it’s homemade.

Download your free copy of Molasses and More

Here’s to eating well, every day.

Bridget signature

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Whole Wheat Molasses Zucchini Muffins

whole wheat molasses zucchini muffins

I asked my 14 year old the first week of school, “What would you like me to bake for your lunchbox treats?”

His reply: “You know mom, I’m not really fond of baked goods anymore.”

I felt a tiny ping of hurt inside and then I laughed because how ironic is that? It’s like the lobsterman’s kids hating lobster.

whole wheat molasses zucchini muffins

Is this the challenge of home cooks everywhere? So many baked goods around that all those packaged cookies look iresistible.

I get it. I remember craving those maple sandwich cookies when I was little, and grocery store pound cake always felt like a treat. But homemade was always my favourite. Even at a young age my palate was tuned to the difference between homemade and processed.

It took my son about three days to come around and now he’s back to devouring everything in sight, including these whole wheat molasses zucchini muffins.

They have the greatest texture thanks to the oil (instead of butter) and they’re moist and beautifully spiced. The molasses-honey pairing is brilliant. Great for texture and flavour balance.

Whole Wheat Molasses Zucchini Muffins

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Makes 16 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grape seed oil or canola oil
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cardamom or nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the oil with the honey and molasses. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini.
  3. In a large bowl whisk the two flours, baking soda and baking powder, salt and spices.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir gently until almost combined.
  5. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes (until the tops feel done when you touch them lightly.)

 

 

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6 Scrumptious Blueberry Recipes

blueberry recipes

I love and lament the arrival of blueberries.

Blueberries are one of my favourite fruits but they appear as summer is winding down and back-to-school is closing in. Still, there’s something thrilling about stuffing my freezer with these blue beauties – so I can savour August all year long.

The blueberries are plentiful along the trails near our home where we often walk. We usually stop to nibble for a bit and even our dog used to “pick” a few once we guided her nose to the fruit on the stem. I lack patience for picking though so the berries we freeze come from local markets.

Wild-grown New Brunswick blueberries are my favourite and although I have seen bags of frozen blueberries in the big grocery stores that are labeled “wild” they just don’t taste the same.

Most of our blueberries go into morning smoothies but there is never a shortage for baking. I’m happy to throw blueberries into just about anything that I bake.

Here is a collection of six of my favourite blueberry recipes from the past couple of years:

blueberry buttermilk cornbread

Blueberry Cornbread – A deliciously moist cornbread dotted with plump blueberries and lightly sweetened with molasses. Perfect with breakfast, for snacking or dessert.

blueberry peach cobbler

Blueberry Peach Cobbler (Pudding Cake) – A warm and comforting cobbler that combines some of the best fruit of summer – blueberries and peaches.

blueberry wheat germ muffins

Blueberry Wheat Germ Muffins – A light textured muffin made with yogurt. Extra healthy and nutty flavoured thanks to the wheat germ.

blueberry muffin recipe

Best Blueberry Muffins – My favourite blueberry muffin recipe that’s ever adaptable. The recipe includes 10 flavour variations, all delicious.

blueberry-flax-gingerbread

Blueberry Flax Gingerbread – This is a great snacking cake made healthier with the addition of ground flaxseed.

blueberry molasses scones

Blueberry Molasses Scones – One of the most beautifully textured scones that I have ever made. A great way to showcase the perfect flavour pairing of blueberries and molasses.

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Low Fat and Healthy Apple Chai Muffins

apple chai muffins

I still have one foot firmly planted in summer but I have to admit that the other foot is dragging itself towards the first week of September and the back-to-school rush. Early mornings, lunch packing and homework. Whether you have kids in school or not, September brings us all back to some sort of routine.

apple chai muffins

September for me means muffins cooling on the counter, stockpiled for school lunches and afterschool snacks.

If you’re aiming for healthier muffins — lower in fat and less sweet – this is a recipe you’ll enjoy. Rolled oats give them lots of texture and apple keeps them moist.

Feel free to add a few chocolate chips (about 3/4 cup) if you’d like to turn them into more of a chocolate chai muffin.

apple chai muffins

Apple Chai Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Adapted from Simple Balance

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cardamom
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 apple, grated with peel on
  • 1/3 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and prepare 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine milk and cider vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. Stir in applesauce, grated apple, molasses, egg and vanilla.
  4. Add wet to dry and mix very gently.
  5. Divide mixture among 12 prepared muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes.

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Luscious Blueberry Molasses Scones

blueberry molasses scones

Blueberry molasses scones have the best of both worlds: They have the loveliest tender crumb and they’re teeming with blueberries.

As far as baked good go, you can’t get much better than that.

Sweetened with brown sugar and molasses they have a flavourful sweetness that is a great balance for the blueberries.

But it’s the tender crumb that has me so smitten with this recipe. It has a melt-in-your-mouth quality that is so satisfying you don’t even need butter.

blueberry molasses scones

Tip: The dough is shaggy and wet so needs to be handled carefully. That’s the key to getting the luscious texture.

Blueberry Molasses Scones

Adapted from Tutti-Dolci

  • 1 ¾ cups of flour
  • 6 Tbsp. brown sugar*
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup butter, cold
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup blueberries

*Can reduce the brown sugar by half if you prefer a less sweet scone.

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Cut in cold butter until it is pea-sized and evenly distributed.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg and molasses.
  4. Add wet to dry and stir gently until almost incorporated. Gently fold in blueberries, taking care not to over mix.
  5. Using a rubber spatula scrape dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dough will be very wet and shaggy.
  6. Flour your hands and sprinkle a little flour over the dough. Gently pat and spread the dough into an 8”-9” circle. Using a floured knife score the dough into 8-12 wedges.
  7. Bake about 20 minutes (up to 25) until scone springs back lightly when touched in the middle. (Cover with foil during the final few minutes of baking if the edges are getting too dark.)
  8. Let cool before slicing into wedges.

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Download Our New Cookie eBook for Free

Grandma Molasses Cookie eBook

Meet Hazelnut Truffle-Stuffed Ginger Cookies, the feature cookie in our new Cookie eBook  and the winning entry in our national molasses cookie contest with Food Bloggers of Canada. The recipe was created and photographed by Ashley of The Recipe Rebel blog.

In the new Cookie eBook you’ll also find the two runners up in the contest:

The new Cookie eBook includes 20 cookie recipes in total, a delicious selection of molasses cookies to suit your back-to-school cookie cravings.

Download the new Cookie eBook here.

 (This book was created as an ebook only so there are no printed copies available.)

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Blueberry Buttermilk Cornbread with Molasses

blueberry buttermilk cornbread

I found a lovely card with the saying “Your day will go in the direction that the corners of your mouth turn.”

It reminds me that we are the masters of our own happiness and that a good breakfast can help to launch each day in the right direction.

Since it’s August I have been starting my day with blueberries, eating them by the handful, whirring them into smoothies and baking all my favourite blueberry recipes.

blueberry buttermilk cornbread

This week it was Blueberry Buttermilk Cornbread. Sweetened with molasses this cornbread is extra flavourful without being cake-sweet.

I love how cornbread walks that fine line between something you eat with supper and something you have for dessert. This recipe is also yummy with breakfast and makes for a great snack.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cornbread with Molasses

Adapted from Tutti-Dolci

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ¼ cups cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 generous cup blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and grease a 9” cake pan (round or square)
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl whisk the butter with the sugar and molasses. Whisk in the eggs then the buttermilk.
  4. When well combined add to dry ingredients and stir gently until almost combined.
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes.  
  7. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before loosening the edges and turning out onto a cooling rack.

 

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Molasses Marinated Broccoli Salad

molasses marinated broccoli salad

It’s always great to have a stash of salad recipes that venture from the lettuce sort. In fact, a group of friends and I were joking about a potluck I hosted where everyone, everyone, brought a salad. Fortunately they weren’t all leafy green salads.

You can make a great summer meal of salads when there’s a good variety of vegetables and textures involved (and you have laidback guests who are enjoying the wine). 

This marinated broccoli salad recipe from my sister-in-law Jane adds great variety to a potluck and is a welcome change from basic steamed broccoli.

It 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. Continue reading

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon with a Molasses Twist

teriyaki salmon

I should title this recipe “How to feed a crowd and have them all licking their fingers” because that was the scene at our cottage last weekend as supper was devoured. It’s a beautiful sight to see food so heartily enjoyed, especially when it takes all of five minutes to prepare. Prepared lovingly, nonetheless, but still everything was ready in a flash.

teriyaki salmon

Molasses is a teriyaki star. Used in place of sugar in this iconic sauce gives the sauce more depth and flavour as well as a wholesome kind of sweetness.

Used with salmon steaks, fillets or salmon strips on skewers this sauce helps to keep the fish moist during cooking. A short marinade deepens the flavour but isn’t necessary.

Try this sauce with shrimp, chicken or beef. That’s how versatile it is. Feel free to adjust the seasoning if you like more or less ginger or garlic. And gage your own sweet metre with the molasses.

This sauce will last a couple of weeks in the fridge.

teriyaki salmon

 

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

Teriyaki Sauce

  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup soya sauce or tamari (gluten free)
  • 5-6 Tbsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 ½ tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar

 

  • Enough salmon for 4 people. (Salmon steaks, fillets or skinless pieces cut into strips for threading on skewers)

Directions:

For the teriyaki sauce:

  1. In a medium pot whisk cornstarch into water then whisk in remaining ingredients (except fish)
  2. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly and cook until it begins to thicken (2-3 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

To cook the fish:

  1. Marinate salmon in half of the sauce for about 30 minutes.
  2. When ready to cook fish remove from marinade, shake off excess and discard.
  3. Grill on the barbecue or broil, flipping halfway through cooking. (Time will depend on type of fish and cooking method)
  4. Serve additional sauce alongside, if desired.

 

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S’mores in a pan: an indoor take on the campfire classic

s'mores bars

The last bag of marshmallow that I bought was the size of my pillow.

I was more than a little self-conscious as I went through the grocery store check-out with a bag that large but I sure felt like a hero when I walked in the door at home and practically had my kids cheering my arrival.

s'mores bars

We’re down to half a bag of marshmallows.

This past holiday weekend was a s’mores fest up at our cottage. Three clear evenings and our first campfires of the season.

My kids have perfected marshmallow toasting for s’mores but this year I threw something new into our weekend mix: indoor s’mores bars, chocolaty marshmallow graham squares that require neither fire nor oven.

This recipe celebrates what my kids love most about s’mores – the marshmallows and graham crackers. There is just enough chocolate to bind the marshmallows and graham crackers and a touch of molasses intensifies the chocolate flavour.

This recipe doubles well.

s'mores bars

Indoor S’mores Bars

Makes 12 bars

Adapted from Karen’s Kitchen Stories 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, very soft
  • 1 Tbsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 ¼ cups chopped graham crackers (save the crumbs)
  • 2 ¼ cups marshmallows (mini marshmallows or regular marshmallows quartered)

Directions:

  1. Line an 8” baking dish or pan with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the chocolate chips into a medium bowl and pour over the boiling water. Set aside for 5 minutes to let the chocolate melt.
  3. In a large bowl toss the graham crackers and marshmallows
  4. Stir the chocolate chip mixture until smooth then add the butter. Stir until melted and then stir in the molasses.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture over the marshmallows and graham crackers and stir with a rubber spatula, scraping the chocolate from the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate.
  6. Scrape into prepared pan, pressing down gently to compact the bars (taking care not to crush the graham crackers).
  7. Sprinkle over the crumbs left from cutting the graham crackers and refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting.
  8. Store in the fridge.

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