Cookbook

2010 :chest Grandmother's Molasses Bars :forkids

Grandmother's Molasses Bars

This was my Grandmother Mattie's recipe. As a youngster, I wasn't sold on everything she made, but these cake-like bars were extraordinarily delicious - very moist, pleasantly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and liberally studded with raisins and nuts. When as a teen, my my girlfriend asked me for a recipe for a cookie she could make to win her crush's heart, this was the recipe I shared! After all, they were probably my Daddy's favorite cookie! My mother usually iced them with a thin confectioners sugar glaze. I haven't made these for a long time, but they are a lovely memory....

Makes on 15x10-inch (jellyroll) pan, cut into bars of desired size

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons molasses
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
Powdered Sugar Glaze (Grandmother's recipe did not include specific instructions for the glaze, but I'm going to suggest about 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 Tablespoons of lemon juice)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a 15x10x1-inch pan with no-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Using an electric mixer (I doubt Grandmother had one of THESE in her earlier days!), cream together the shortening and sugar.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.
Pour the buttermilk into a teacup or small bowl, then stir in the baking soda until dissolved.
Alternately, beat the dry mixture and the buttermilk with the dissolved soda into the shortening and sugar mixture until well blended.
By hand, stir in the raisins and chopped nuts.
Spread the dough evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until done.
Prepare the glaze, spread over cookies while they are still warm.
Cool completely, then cut into bars.
When the icing is no longer tacky, store bars in an airtight container, with waxed paper between the layers.


*Alternatively, you can use a vanilla-flavored powdered sugar glaze.
Source: Recipe from LuAnn's Grandmother Mattie, whom she believes was born in the late 1880's; written up and posted by LuAnn for KRT.

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