Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Tag: Molasses

Maple Molasses Cookies

These cookies are delicious. Downright delicious.  They are soft and moist, with the deep, rich flavors of maple syrup and molasses blending together beautifully.

maple molasses cookies stack 2Since it is maple sugar season here, I thought I would share a recipe with maple syrup in it.  One of my favorite cookie recipes of all time is one of the first ones I ever posted on this blog–the recipe for molasses snaps.  I modified that recipe just a bit for these cookies, and put in some maple syrup in place of some of the brown sugar.  This change made the cookies even moister and gave them a richer flavor.

maple molasses cookies with black mug 7There is something so satisfying about using natural sweeteners like molasses (especially blackstrap molasses, which I like to use) and maple syrup.  Maybe it’s because I know they contain important minerals found in the good earth (potassium, zinc, manganese, and iron, to name a few), so it feels like these coookies are quite healthy.  Or at least nourishing.  Perfect for a snack or to stick in the kids’ lunches.  They have definitely been disappearing quickly around this house.

maple molasses cookies stack with dishesIt’s March now, and outside my windows the snow is lightly falling.  We had another snowstorm a couple of days ago, resulting in another snow day for the kids.  Much of our half of the world is thinking about spring, yet we in Michigan are still blanketed in snow.  For now, I will take the soft snow.  It will be gone soon enough, and my upper body feels stronger from all of the shoveling!

snowy sunrise on porch 2I hope you all have a great weekend!maple molasses cookies just 2maple molasses cookies in handsmaple molasses cookies in snowmaple molasses cookies with dogmaple molasses cookies with black mug 9I’m going to take a plate of these cookies over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by two great bloggers–Josette @ thebrookcook and Lily @ Little Sweet Baker.

Maple Molasses Cookies

  • Servings: about 40 cookies, depending on size
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of dark molasses (preferably blackstrap molasses)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat (or stir vigorously) the butter in a large bowl until creamy.  Gradually stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and molasses until fluffy.  Add the egg, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.  Stir well to blend.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.  Slowly add this mixture to the butter mixture, stirring well until just combined.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoon onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in a preheated oven (375 degrees) for about 7 minutes, or until cookies are firm, yet still moist.  Let cookies sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Repeat until all the dough is baked.  Enjoy!

Brown Soda Bread With Molasses

This rich, hearty, earthy bread is so satisfying, so delicately flavorful, that you will find yourself enjoying every bite.  With just a few ingredients, it is very easy to make, and you can have a homemade loaf of bread on your table in a little less than an hour.  It’s delicious for breakfast with a little butter or marmalade, or with dinner alongside a bowl of stew or soup.

soda bread with hands 4Sometimes the best things happen as a result of necessity.  I often freak out when life throws me a monkey wrench or a curve ball, but really, often, something good comes of those curve balls.  Discovering this bread recipe was one of those good things.

Yesterday, the kids and I were snowed in with no bread in the house.  After a winter with a relatively small amount of snow (for Michigan anyway), we suddenly got hit with a big snowstorm, and it snowed all day and all night.  My husband went to work amidst snow drifts and howling wind, but the kids had a snow day off of school, and I stayed home with them .  My husband barely got out of our driveway, so I knew I had a lot of shoveling to do before we went anywhere or he got home.  We also lost electricity for a few hours.  My original plans for the day vanished into the winter wind.

soda bread against whiteWhile the kids and I were sitting close to our gas fireplace to stay warm,(thank goodness for that during power outages!), I found the recipe for this tasty bread in a cookbook my mom recently gave me called The Irish Kitchen: 150 Recipes for Everyday Cooking from the Emerald Isle.  As soon as our electricity came back, I made this bread, and then made another loaf this morning.  We had it with soup last night, and with breakfast this morning.  I am really excited about this bread, because everyone in my family likes it, and it is so versatile.  It tastes rustic and homemade, yet only takes around an hour to make, including baking time.  There is just the tiniest hint of sweetness from the molasses.

DSC_0945And after raging for a few minutes about losing electricity for the second time this week due to the weather, I found myself enjoying the quiet time.  My kids and I ate pretzels and pistachios for lunch, sat around the fireplace together, and listened to music on our hand-crank-powered radio.  They went outside and built a fort in the snow, and when they came in, all their wet things dried quickly by the fireplace.  Our power came back within a few hours.  I didn’t get a lot done that day, but had quality time with my kids and made this awesome bread.

I hope you all have a great weekend! soda bread with dogsnowy pines 2I am sharing this recipe with the group of amazing bloggers at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Zeba @ Food For The Soul.

Brown Soda Bread with Molasses

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, oats, salt, and baking soda.  In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and molasses.  If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute with regular milk and a tablespoon of vinegar.  Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well.  Gently stir the mixture together, until well combined.  Using floured hands, form the batter into a soft ball.

Shape the dough into a circle and place it on the lined baking sheet.  Press the ball gently to about 2 inches thick.  With a sharp knife with a long blade, cut a deep cross across the top.

Bake in your 450-degree oven for 15 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 400 degrees.  Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the bottom of the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Cool slightly on a wire rack, and slice.  Serve warm.  Also tastes great the next day, warmed up or toasted, or just as is. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from The Irish Kitchen: 150 Recipes for Everyday Cooking from the Emerald Isle.

 

Wonderful Molasses

I have always loved molasses cookies. Maybe it’s because of the rich, earthy taste of molasses, or maybe it’s because it brings back memories of sitting in my Aunt Nell’s house eating her huge, soft molasses cookies and drinking her cool, sweet lemonade. Now I have even more reason to love them. Although it seems to be well-known to some, I have only recently discovered that molasses is full of nutrients like iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. According to www.whfoods.com, the molasses we produce here in the United States is made from sugar cane. An article on that website goes on to explain that molasses is created during the process of making sugar. It is basically the sugar cane juice that remains after the sucrose has been removed.

There are different types of molasses, based on the amount of processing (which includes spinning and boiling the juice) the sugar cane juice has undergone. The syrup that results from the first round of processing is the light molasses we see at the grocery store. It has the mildest taste and least amount of nutrients of any molasses. The molasses produced by the second round of processing is the dark molasses we see in the grocery store. This version of molasses is thicker, darker, and more concentrated, containing more nutrients than the light version. And finally, a third round of processing is possible, creating what is known as blackstrap molasses. This molasses is the darkest form, and the most rich in terms of minerals. Blackstrap molasses can be a little harder to find, and you may need to buy it at a natural food store. However, it is not expensive–I got a sixteen ounce jar for under three dollars.

I love the idea that an ingredient in cookies is so full of minerals! I am especially interested in the high iron content of blackstrap molasses, because we don’t eat a lot of red meat in my family, so I am always looking for natural ways to get enough iron.

I am going to post a recipe I use for molasses cookies. This version is pretty quick and easy to throw together, and it results in soft, flavorful cookies. I like to make the size of these cookies small so they are easy to grab on the go. My kids love them, and they are perfect for an after-school snack or a dessert in their lunch bags. My husband and I love them as well.

ImageImageImage