Keep Molasses in the Kitchen

Gingerbread man_Erie_LAH_6072There has been a sudden flurry of articles and ads all promoting molasses as a valuable garden fertilizer/weed killer/pesticide. I find the latter use particularly humorous. Molasses is sweet. Won’t that attract critters? I bet our resident bunnies would adore molasses-coated shrubs.

I have two bits of advice about using molasses in the garden. My first recommendation is to invest in Grandma’s Molasses stock. If my Pinterest feed is any indication, molasses should sell well in the near future.

Second, I was going to write an original and witty post about how ridiculous it is to spray molasses on your plants, but two other bloggers beat me to the punch. So instead of taking the time to rephrase what they already so succinctly put together, I’ll simply send you to them:

Molasses for Plants
Molasses Malarkey

Gingerbread P&L_Erie_LAH_6060Now that I don’t have to sit at my computer this afternoon, I’ll use the time I save to bake Christmas cookies. I’m planning to make a couple of gingerbread houses for my daughter and granddaughter to decorate next week. Molasses is an essential ingredient in gingerbread (not to mention pumpernickel, molasses cookies, BBQ sauce…). Don’t waste it on your garden. Make cookies instead. Here are some recipes I like:

Gingerbread Cookies

  • Gingerbread_Erie_LAH_60531 C butter
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 5 C flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2–3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, molasses and vinegar and mix on high speed until fluffy. Add dry ingredients and mix into the butter and sugar mixture. Chill at least 3 hours. Roll out on flowered board and cut with cookie cutters. Baked on greased cookie sheet at 350°F. for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on rack. Decorate with white frosting when cooled. Makes 5 dozen small cookies (or a few huge gingerbread cookies and lots of scraps to eat raw).

Molasses Cookies

  • 3/4 C shortening
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 2-1/4 C flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Cream shortening with sugar; add egg and molasses. Mix well. Mix remaining ingredients into the creamed mixture. Chill several hours or overnight. Roll out on floured board and cut with cookie cutters. (Alternately, don’t chill. Roll into balls and flatten with a sugar-coated flat surface. I use the bottom of my measuring cup.)

Bake on greased cookie sheet at 350°F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until still soft. I like to sprinkle sugar on them before baking. These are softer and less spicy than the gingerbread cookies above.

Molasses Cake Bars

  • 1/2 C shortening
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C light molasses
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee crystals
  • 1-1/2 C flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Spray a 13″ x 9″ pan with oil. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream the shortening and sugar; add the egg and beat well. Add molasses and 1/2 cup water. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Pour into the greased pan and spread out evenly. Bake for about 25 minutes. Frost while warm with lemon glaze (my favorite) or vanilla butter cream. Cool; cut into 24 squares.

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