Friday, October 17, 2003

Molasses Cookies & Molasses Ice Cream

The Recipes: An unexpected pair of recipes rich with classic molasses flavor. First up, old-fashioned Molasses Cookies, my forever-favorite recipe. Second but not to be overlooked, a most surprising and alluring no-cook Molasses Ice Cream.

These recipes are all about the molasses, mix and match. The cookies are old favorites but really, Molasses Ice Cream is a big surprise. A real fall treat? Spread a little Molasses Ice Cream onto a couple of Molasses Cookies: instant Molasses Sandwich Cookies!

The Conversation: Who else remembers cranking a wooden ice cream maker in the back yard? Fun times for kids!

~recipe updated 2016 for a little fall-weekend inspiration~
~more recently updated recipes~

Molasses Cookies ♥, an old-fashioned cookies, soft, chewy or crisp, your choice.

A neighbor captured this scene on eight-millimeter film in the 1960s. A few kids are circled round a wooden ice cream bucket on a summer day. We take turns cranking the handle, the bigger kids helping the littler ones as the ice cream thickens. As the film rolls in my memory’s eye, our laughs and jostling occur in jerky slow-motion. A grown-up removes the creamy-pink paddle. Pudgy fingers reach toward it for the first tastes.

How things change! How things stay the same!

Last year, a friend persuaded me to purchase an electric ice cream maker. “You’ll use it all the time,” she promised. She was right: I keep the bowl in the freezer so unusual flavors of homemade ice cream are no more than an hour away, no ice, no rock salt, no mess.

Molasses Ice Cream ♥, unusual and alluring, familiar and unexpected.

If there's ever a reason to get an ice cream maker, it's this recipe for Molasses Ice Cream. Both at once, it's unusual and completely familiar. If you like the flavor of molasses, you'll love the rich creaminess of molasses ice cream. Yummy! (And if you don't? Well, other unusual ice creams are just a churn away using my recipe for Chameleon Ice Cream or a master recipe Rustic Fruit Ice Cream).

More than that? This may be my very simplest ice cream recipe. All the ingredients are measured directly into a blender, then move straight to the ice cream maker. That's right. No cooking! No waiting!


Mix: 10 minutes
Chill: At least 2 hours
Shape and bake: 45 minutes
Makes 5 dozen small cookies

  • 3/4 cup (170g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (70g) mild or blackstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons additional sugar for rolling (don't skip this step!)

MIX DOUGH Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Add molasses and egg and combine well. Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine well with butter mixture.

CHILL DOUGH Gather dough into a round, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to bake, at least 2 hours or overnight.

ROLL, SUGAR & BAKE Heat oven to 375F (190C). Between your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls (about 12g in weight), then roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet, about 20 cookies per sheet. Flatten each cookie slightly with bottom of a glass. Bake for 8 – 11 minutes, the shorter time for "soft" cookies, the longer for "crispy", somewhere in the middle for "chewy". Cool on a rack or on paper towels.

VARIATIONS The mother of invention! A reader found herself without molasses and substituted maple syrup. She went one step further and used nutmeg instead of ginger. "Excellent" were her results!

ALANNA's TIPS I use both mild molasses for a slightly milder cookie and blackstrap molasses, my favorite, for that lovely distinctive molasses flavor. Chilling the dough makes it easier to shape the balls. If you skip this step (I do, occasionally) the cookies will really spread; just arrange them well apart on the baking sheet. For years, I've used regular white sugar for rolling the balls of cookie dough. But then I tried using the so-called "raw" sugar. Those cookies turned out especially crisp on the exterior, while the centers were especially chewy. Wonderful! How do you like your Molasses Cookies? Just vary the baking time for "soft" or "chewy" or "crisp" molasses cookies! People do love Molasses Cookies! They are real crowd pleasers and ship and travel well, too.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cookie: 54 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; Sat Fat: 1g; 10mg Cholesterol; 63mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 0g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1, WW PointsPlus 1 (but careful, 2 cookies = 3), WW SmartPoints 3 (but 2 cookies = 5)


Hands-on time: 10 minutes over 40 minutes
Time to table: 8 hours
Makes 4 cups ice cream

  • 3 ounces (85g) cream cheese, low fat Neufchatel is fine
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (115g) molasses, mild or blackstrap
  • 2 cups half & half

In a blender, mix the cream cheese, brown sugar and molasses until smooth. With the motor running, add the half & half. Transfer to an ice cream maker and process until mixture thickens. Transfer to a covered container and freeze until hard.

ALANNA's TIPS I had great hopes for make-ahead Molasses Sandwich Cookies, pressing Molasses Ice Cream between a pair of Molasses Cookies. The combination of the two is just wonderful but make one up and eat it on the spot. For some reason, even in the freezer, once the ice cream is spread onto the cookies, it continues to melt, making a big mess. Yes, that's experience talking!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 204 Calories; 10g Tot Fat; 7g Sat Fat; 34mg Cholesterol; 64mg Sodium; 26g Carb; 0g Fiber; 20g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 10 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 1/4 cup (1g protein).

More Recipes for Old-Fashioned Classic Cookies

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

More No-Cook Ice Cream Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Easy Fruit Sorbet Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Blackberry Sauce Master Recipe: Rustic Fruit Ice Cream

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Friday, October 10, 2003

Wine-Braised Pork Roast with
Garlic Mashed Potatoes

What a wonderful way to cook a pork roast! The meat, even an inexpensive cut, is moist and tender and flavorful. And the sauce - oh, the sauce - is deep and dark and yet slightly sweet, thanks to rich spices and wine. Wonderful with Garlic Mashed Potatoes!

Wine-Braised Pork Roast

This recipe looks long and complicated, but I promise, it’s not! It cooks in one pan and requires only four steps. 1) Rub the pork roast with herbs and garlic, then refrigerate. 2) Brown the meat. 3) Chop and sauté for the sauce. 4) Stick it all in the oven!

Making the dish for the first time, my reaction was, “THIS is why we eat at home.” An inexpensive cut of meat. Easy preparation. Rich flavors. Perfection!

For a special fall meal, serve the pork roast with homemade garlic mashed potatoes.

GARLIC MASHED POTATOES For four servings, allow a pound of russet potatoes, those are the ones with rough skins mostly used for baked potatoes. Peel them if you like but I like the rustic texture the skins add. Cut the potatoes into quarters or if the potatoes are different sizes, make sure the cut pieces are about the same size, this ensures even cooking. Arrange the potatoes in a saucepan with just enough cold water to cover. Drop in four peeled cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup milk. Cover and bring to a boil, cook for 25 minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes but reserve the liquid. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or an electric mixer (not a food processor!), adding another 1/4 cup milk, 4 tablespoons butter (the butter is wonderful but also optional, the milk provides enough moisture and flavor for my taste) and if needed to reach the right consistency, splashes of the reserved cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

ALANNA's TIPS Use light or regular olive oil for sautéing vegetables in dishes like this, saving the 'good stuff' for salad dressings where the delicate flavors won’t get lost. When adding the marjoram, crush the dried leaves between your fingers over the cooking pot to release the flavors (and make your fingers smell good!). To add servings, simply increase the size of the roast and be generous when adding the onions, peppers and tomatoes. If desired, thicken the sauce to a more gravy-like consistency by stirring in about a tablespoon of flour and simmer until thickened. For a contemporary presentation, place a dollop of mashed potatoes in the center of the plate and arrange pork slices on top; top with sauce and a sprig of fresh marjoram, thyme or rosemary. If you’re serving children or anyone who doesn't consume alcohol, it's a myth that all the alcohol cooks off. It might, but it takes a long, long time for alcohol to cook out of dish. Instead of wine, substitute apple cider, additional broth, even plain water.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite easy fall recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time (night or morning before serving): 10 minutes
Hands-on time (day of serving): 20 minutes
Time to table: about 90 minutes or up to 3 hours
Serves 8
    (night or morning before serving)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2-1/2 pounds boned pork loin roast, rolled and tied
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped in large pieces
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

MEAT RUB In a small dish, combine rub ingredients. Tear aluminum foil large enough to wrap meat. Wipe meat dry and place on foil. With fingers, press rub mixture into meat, covering all sides. Wrap foil tightly around meat and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

BROWN the MEAT Heat a Dutch oven on medium-high, add olive oil and heat til shimmery. Brown the pork roast on all sides, about 10 minutes total, letting each side brown without moving. Transfer to a plate and cover.

SAUCE Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients. Nestle the roast amid the vegetables, fat side up, pour in any meat drippings from the plate. Cover and bring to a boil.

While the pot comes to a boil, preheat oven to 350F. Transfer the covered pot to the oven.

ROASTING OPTION ONE: For firm slices, roast for about 40 minutes or until roast’s internal temperature reaches 140F - 150F.

OPTION TWO: For tender slices, cook for 2 - 3 hours.

OPTION THREE: For tender slices, on Day One, cook until the internal temperature reaches 140-150F, then refrigerate overnight. On Day Two, bring to a boil on the stovetop, then bake again at 350F for an hour. If needed, keep warm at 200F for an hour or more.

Once the meat is done, transfer the roast to a platter, cover with foil and let stand 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves from the sauce. If you like, uncover the Dutch oven and cook the sauce on the stovetop on medium high until reduced to about four cups. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, slice the pork and top with sauce.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving (assumes 4 ounces meat and 1/4 cup sauce): 246 Calories; 9g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 62mg Cholesterol; 713mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 2g Fiber; 28g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 5; Points Plus 6

Inexpensive pork roasts can be a little tough (okay, a LOT tough) when cooked only until done. So I nearly always cook the pork roast using either Option Two or Option Three in the recipe.
I cut the red pepper in such large pieces to give the plate color and substance. But if you chop them small, the sauce has a more refined appearance. Your choice!
This recipe was originally published in print in 2003 and published online for the first time in 2010.

More Pork Recipes for Fall Suppers

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Pork Chops & Rice Oven Dinner Winter Stew Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce
~ more pork recipes ~

What's Your Favorite Fall Supper?

Let me know in the comments! I'm 'hungry' for new ideas for future columns!

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~ Garlic Mashed Potatoes ~

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