Molasses Syrup

Our family LOVES pancakes and it’s my husband’s specialty! Last week I made some (mostly forgettable) banana nut pancakes and was searching for a quick syrup to make to serve with them. We try to make our own most of the time since I’m not crazy about all the additives in store bought syrup. We do use pure maple syrup (but sometimes at an alarming and therefore expensive rate), however, we usually top pancakes with yogurt, fruit syrups, and/or homemade syrups. So, while I can’t take credit for coming up with this yummy syrup recipe, I was very excited to find it! I doubled Simple Bites Recipe because if I’m going to the trouble I want some leftover for other meals.

In short, this was DELICIOUS! We love molasses cookies and the flavor was very reminiscent of the warm, spicy flavors of a fresh cookie. A few notes – 1) a little goes a long way, 2) this was amazing on hot cereal like oatmeal and cream of wheat, and 3) it stores well and would probably be quite good on vanilla ice cream or gingerbread.

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MOLASSES SYRUP
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1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. molasses
3/4 c. water
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tb. salted butter

In a small pot, whisk together sugar, molasses, water, and cinnamon over medium heat. Bring to a slow boil and continue stirring until ingredients are fully incorporated and syrup thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Cool slightly. Transfer to a pitcher for serving or a glass jar for storing.

Yields: 1 1/2 cups syrup

**Of note, Simple Bites has 4 other great-looking syrups in this post!

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Grandma’s Molasses Crinkles

This is perhaps one of my favorite cookies ever. It brings back many memories of family gatherings and shared meals. While I mostly remember my aunt and my mom making them, the recipe originated with my grandma and so I always think of her. I searched through her recipe box and found it written in her hand with a tiny note that this is a good recipe. Love that.

These are the perfect texture, the perfect combination of spices, perfectly sweet but not too sweet, and perfectly formed with “crinkles” on top. They are delicious warm or cooled. Stephanie even had these as favors at her wedding. Yes, I think it’s fair to say these are a family tradition.

Molasses Crinkles would be a great addition to your Superbowl Party (along with many of other appetizer and snack recipes!) but they would also be good just about any other day. Perfection.

GRANDMA’S MOLASSES CRINKLES
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3/4 c. shortening (trust me on this one)
1/4 c. molasses
1 c. sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream shortening, molasses, sugar, and egg together until fully combined and creamy. Add flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix until fully combined.

Scoop dough and roll into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crinkled on top and lightly golden. Makes about 3 dozen.

Weekend Fare: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

This recipe is delicious as well as quick and easy! I found the recipe in the November 2009 issue of Cooking Light. We enjoyed these sandwiches with oven fries. I really like the combination of flavors – it makes a smoky, sweet, slightly spicy, bbq.

BLACK PEPPER AND MOLASSES PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICHES
( adapted slightly from Cooking Light, November 2009)
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3  Tb.  ketchup
1  Tb.  cider vinegar
1  Tb.  prepared mustard
1  Tb.  molasses
3/4  tsp.  chili powder
1/2  tsp.  ground cumin
1/4  tsp.  freshly ground black pepper
1/8  tsp.  ground ginger
12  oz.  skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
4  sandwich rolls, cut in half horizontally
12  dill pickle chips

Combine first 9 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done and tender. Remove from heat; shred with 2 forks to measure 2 cups meat. Place 1/2 cup chicken on bottom half of each roll. Top each with 3 pickles and top half of roll.