If you’ve never had molasses, then Molasses Bar Day would be the perfect and most apt day to try it! Molasses, or treacle in British English, is essentially a thick sugary syrup made from sugarcane or sugar beets that contains large amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium. Beet molasses is 50% sugar by weight, and sugar is sometimes extracted from beet molasses through molasses desugarization. Cane molasses is more commonly used in cooking.
The History of Molasses Bar Day
The word molasses actually comes from the Portuguese word “melaco,” which evolved from the Latin “mel,” meaning “honey.” This sticky and sweet stuff has been used as far back as the 1500s as a sweetener for food. There are a wide variety of uses for it in cooking; for cookies, gingerbread, sauces, dark rye breads, beers such as stouts or porters, and of course, molasses bars. In middle Eastern culture, molasses is produced from dates, grapes and pomegranates. It can also be blended with magnesium chloride and used for de-icing, or as a soil additive to promote microbial activity. On early printing presses, it was mixed with glue to case ink rollers.
But for Molasses Bar day, you’re surely more interested in making a bar than using it for other cooking! Molasses bars are a chewy nibble that are enjoyed by many, usually containing cinnamon and other spices, too.
How to Celebrate Molasses Bar Day
The best way to celebrate molasses bar day is to make your own molasses bars and see what all of the fuss surrounding molasses is about–once you’ve tried these homemade molasses bars, you’ll never want a plain old gingerbread cookie again! The consistency of molasses makes the bars delightfully moist and chewy, and the tangy ginger offsets the sweetness. But beware of one thing: these are seriously addictive!
Chewy Ginger Molasses Bars Recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 16-18 minutes
Total time: under 40 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 cup brown sugar – packed
- ½ cup butter (1 stick) – softened
- ½ cup dark molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup raisins
- First, you should preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, butter and flour a cookie sheet and set it aside for later. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients; that is, the flour, salt, baking powder and spices. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, and then add the egg and molasses, stirring until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients, constantly mixing. Next, stir in the raisins and make a dough. Flour your hands and press the dough over the cookie sheet in an even layer. Bake for 16-18 minutes, removing from the oven when a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing with a pizza slicer into about 32 pieces.
- These bars keep really well, even when they are left uncovered, as they are so moist. But that doesn’t mean they will last that long! These tend to be very addictive with all their chewy, buttery, spicy goodness, so don’t be surprised if they are all gone in under 2 days! One of these bars contains about 105 calories, which isn’t very much, really; still, it is easy to overindulge.