Hodge Podge Kitchen

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sugar High Friday: Molasses

Since I missed the last SHF, I have been keeping my eyes out on the next one to make sure I will get a chance to participate. As luck would have it, this edition is hosted by a friend, Derrick at An Obsession with Food. I missed out on his IMBB on terrine last time, so there's definitely no way I'm going to miss this one. I do have to confess first that I'm not a big fan of molasses. Sure I like molasses in gingerbread, but that's the only thing I use molasses for. (I think my bottle of molasses has been in my pantry for more than a year!) I came across this molasses-pumpkin bread recipe that sounded good and a little more unique. I baked them in the muffin pan instead of a loaf pan because it's easier to take one with me in the morning to work for breakfast. It was good, too much for the two of us to eat before they spoil. So half of them are sitting in my freezer for a quick and healthy breakfast on the go.

Molasses-Pumpkin Muffin
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin (plain pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons apple juice (or orange juice)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (may substitute raisins)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour 12 muffin pan, set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine molasses, sugar, applesauce, oil, eggs, pumpkin and apple juice with an electric mixer.
Add dry ingredients.
Fold in cranberries or raisins.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan. (I put a few pumpkin seeds on top for decorations.)
Bake until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
Let muffins sit for about 10 minutes, then turn the muffins out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the muffins came out well, it just wasn't that sweet. And since this is a dessert event, I wanted to make something sweeter. Since pomegranate molasses counts and I ran out of molasses, I came up with these pomegranate shortbreads. The sourness from the pomegranate molasses balanced the richness of the shortbread nicely. Next time, I think I will replace two more tablespoons of sugar with the molasses to see if it will tint the dough a little more. The shortbread were great to have with your afternoon tea.

Pomegranate Shortbreads
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
coarse sugar like Sugar in the Raw
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter until soft in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Add 1/4 cup sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the pomegranate molasses. Stir together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix at low speed just until the dough starts to come together.
Flour a work surface, turn the dough onto it, and knead it 5 to 10 times, to bring the dough together and smooth it out.
Roll the dough into a big log. Then roll the log in raw sugar until the surface is well covered. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Slice the dough into 1/2" thick. Place on cookie sheet (I used a silicone mat). Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cool for a couple of minutes on the pan, transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Now that I made something that's sweeter, I wanted something else with a stronger pomegranate flavor. Something cold sounded like a good idea with the warm weather we have been having, so I ended up making a pomegranate sorbet as well. Celestial Seasonings makes a pomegranate red tea that was added to give the sorbet a little more flavor. This is definitely my favorite out of the three.

Pomegranate Sorbet
6 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 pomegranate red tea bag (optional)
Warm water, pomegranate molasses, water and sugar in a non-reactive pot (glass or stainless steel, not aluminum), stirring until sugar dissolves. Add tea bags if using.
Cool in refrigerator.
Discard the tea bags.
Add lime juice to chilled mixture.
Freeze according to instructions for your ice cream maker.
Serve a scoop of sorbet on top of a slice of grilled pineapple.


  • Wow, Winnie! Three molasses desserts! They look great, and I especially love the 3rd picture - looks so fancy. Plus, you know I love the Wave plates.

    -Melissa Schneider

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:07 PM  

  • I agree with Melissa: they all look great, but the third one definitely takes the cake (or shortbread, as the case may be). I'm definitely going to be stealing that recipe in the near future.

    By Anonymous Phil Haack, at 1:44 AM  

  • You really went all out for this event, Winnie. Everything looks great; I especially want to try the shortbread. By the way, I just got a set of those same Villeroy and Boch mugs that you have in your photo!

    By Blogger Nic, at 7:18 AM  

  • Fan-cy

    By Blogger sisisa, at 2:27 PM  

  • Melissa-
    It seemed like I've only been making dessert lately. I don't even consider myself with a sweet tooth!
    Please let me know how it came out if you decide to try it. I would love to know what you think.
    The shortbread is pretty subtle as it is. So if you want more pomegranate taste I would try to replace some of the sugar with the pomegranate molasses. And the Villeroy and Boch New Wave line was picked by my husband for our wedding china. I guess he have pretty good taste. =)

    By Blogger Winnie, at 12:21 PM  

  • Wow, Winnie, for someone who claims to not like molasses you certainly went all out to convince yourself to like it at least for one day! Thanks so much for making all these delicious-looking and sounding desserts for SHF. Good to have you!

    By Blogger Jennifer, at 6:47 AM  

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