This one I knew was going to be trouble! I’ve been to most of the bars in town, and we don’t even have a sarsaparilla bar, much less a molasses one. Turns out, however, a molasses bar is a dessert bar. You know, like a candy bar except… with molasses.
The last time I found myself partaking in molasses was probably age fifteen or so, but here’s the thing I remember — it’s not delicious. I’m about as excited about eating a molasses bar as I would be about eating a carob cake (all you need to know about carob is that it’s what they use instead of chocolate in fancy looking dog cookies). The reason molasses is not delicious is that it’s the result of removing all the sucrose from sugar cane, so that what you’re left with is the hollow echo of a plant that once had almost magical properties.
Even though molasses is a “has been” sugar, it’s still a severely fattening carbohydrate. That doesn’t stop it from having a huge following, though, like every other natural food product. Depending on how deep you search, you’ll find people believe in its health benefits in degrees ranging from adding extra iron and B6 into your diet, to a miraculous ability of eliminating acne and cancer.
The most lauded and celebrated of this funky syrupy substance, is that which is called the blackstrap molasses. Besides being an awesome name for an adult flick, it is also distinct because it is thrice processed, removing most of the rest of the sugars while still slightly increasing its health benefits and thickness.
I knew it was likely I’d get pinched on this one (meaning I’d have to make molasses bars) so I checked out my friend ZoeWaits’ video (need to remember to ask her from where she got her list of holidays. I might just be eating everything she’s making). I was distressed when she claimed it takes 4-hours in prep time alone.
No way! Immediately, my first call was to Cracker Barrel, because they have all that weird southern stuff in their gift stores. Nothin’ doin’ there! Next to Tasty Pastry, a local bakery type joint. No dice! And worse, she asked me, “Have you tried Publix?” I then tried Publix. Nope.
So, here’s how ZoeWaits’ recipe turned out for me: The final product looked very similar to Zoe’s video example, except WAY more dark because, of course, I stopped at a health food store for a jar of the “good (black) stuff.” I really was surprised to taste that these things are really pretty good. Of course, only 1/20 of the ingredients is molasses because we added back all the sugar that made molasses “healthy” in the first place. So, once again, there is nothing that butter and sugar doesn’t make better!
BONUS: I now have a jar of molasses that I’ll never use for anything else.
(See you Thursday for Bagels & Lox Day!)