Sunday, February 10, 2013

Molasses for the Masses - February 10, 2013

Lots of local farmers have honey and molasses to sell in the Fall.  We bought both and used the molasses to sweeten pots of greens, but then started looking for other ways to take advantage of this natural sweetener.  Molasses have a strong flavor that I would describe as from a previous time.  We’re so used to refined sugars, many of us have lost or never acquired a taste for this rich flavor.  I decided to try one old time recipe that would really highlight the molasses taste.  I had heard about shoo fly pie, but never tried it.  The Wood Brothers have a song called “Shoo Fly Pie” that often gets stuck in my head.  Maybe the pie taste will as well.

ShooFly Pie 

1 9 inch pie shell
1 cup molasses
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl combine molasses, hot water, and baking soda. Stir well. Whisk in beaten egg. Pour mixture into pie shell.

Then, in a medium bowl combine flour and brown sugar.  Mix well and cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of molasses layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Lower temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake an additional 30 minutes.

Another great way to use molasses is gingerbread cookies.  These are the chewy ones.  They are all supposed to be great with milk before bed to help you sleep.

Gingerbread Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 T. water
¼ cup molasses
2 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, cream the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses.  Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.  Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Place the cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

One year ago - Shrimp Shell Stock and Thai Shrimp Soup

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