It's National Molasses Bar Day...

Wait..What?! Molasses Bar Day?! What is a Molasses Bar? I have never heard of this confection, and yet there is a National Food Day devoted to it. Go figure.

Well, after some research I found out that a Molasses Bar is kind of a cross between a cookie and brownie, sweetened with - you guessed it - Molasses. Actually, this sounds pretty good.

Let's dive in. First, what is Molasses?

Molasses is a by-product of the sugar refining process. We mostly use sugarcane her in the USA for our sugar.

To make molasses, sugar cane is harvested and stripped of leaves. Its juice is extracted, usually by cutting, crushing, or mashing. The juice is boiled to concentrate it, promoting sugar crystallization. The result of this first boiling is called first syrup, and it has the highest sugar content. First syrup is usually referred to in the Southern states of the U.S. as cane syrup, as opposed to molasses. Second molasses is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction, and has a slightly bitter taste. The third boiling of the sugar syrup yields dark, viscous blackstrap molasses, known for its robust flavor.
— Wikipedia

Most of what we use for baking is the second molasses, which we just call Molasses. While not as sweet as sugar, molasses has a concentrated amount of minerals which lead to some claims of health benefits.

Oh...and you can make rum from molasses. :-)

But I digress. We are here to celebrate Molasses Bar Day so let's get on with it. Here is a recipe for Molasses Bars which you can try. Enjoy. They do look yummy.


Molasses Bars

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T. molasses
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. cinnamon chips

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and molasses and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, baking powder, and spices and mix well.
  3. Add flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips and cinnamon chips.
  5. Pour into a foil-lined 8x8 pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Let cool, then cut into squares.

Notes

If you are using regular brown sugar instead of dark brown, you might consider using a little more molasses than what is called for.

Michael Liss