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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Molasses Cake Bars

It appears the North American Monsoon is underway in the Sonoran Desert. We've been getting some great rain, thunder and lightning here in Tucson over the past few days. I've been watching a storm on the local radar and hoping it continues across the city and into my area. I need some cooling rain today!

As I was contemplating something to make yesterday I ran across a recipe in a very old cookbook for Molasses Cake Bars. As I perused the ingredients I realized it was very close the base for gingerbread. However, instead of ginger it called for several other spices. I was intrigued and wondered how it would turn out.

The results were great. This tastes a lot like gingerbread without the "bite" so if you have someone in your house that just hates ginger or spicy sweets this might be a good option. The spices used give a lovely flavor - cinnamon, clove, a little all spice - balanced with the deep flavor of molasses. The "cake" is moist and and fragrant as well as flavorful. I opted to top this twice. The first topping was a thin glaze made of lemon juice, milk, and powdered sugar. I used a skewer to punch some holes in the top of the cake then drizzled the thin glaze over the warm cake letting it soak in. After the cake had cooled I then repeated the same glaze but made it thicker like icing and iced the cake.


: Molasses Cake Bars
: Complex flavors make this old fashioned snack cake a real treat!

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs. milk
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix well.
  3. In 2-cup measuring cup, mix together the water, molasses and instant coffee. Add to butter mixture and mix well.
  4. Sift together the flour and remaining dry ingredients and add to mixture with mixer on slow speed. Increase speed to medium and mix until batter is smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with spatula. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few crumbs adhering. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan then lift out using foil overhang.
  6. Frost with glaze when cooled.
  7. Cut into 2-inch squares.
Glaze:
  1. In large measuring cup or small bowl mix together all ingredients until smooth. Add more juice or sugar if necessary to get the glaze to a consistency where it can be spread on the cake.
I like using a double glaze on this cake. I make an initial glaze using 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tbs. milk and 2 tbs. lemon juice. I then poke 10-12 holes in top of cake with wooden skewer and drizzle glaze over cake while it is still warm. After the cake has cooled I then frost the cake with the glaze from the recipe.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 18
Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)


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