February 19, 2008

Gingery bars

The house smells so good. And in spite of the endless snow, the kitchen is warm and spicy. I decided it was time to make something to distract me, however briefly, from the wreckage outside. This is a variation on an old recipe passed on to me by a co-worker.
Gingery bars
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar (evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2-1/2 cups sifted (or well-stirred) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (scant)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1/2 cup molasses ( blackstrap, sorghum and Barbados will all give slightly different results. The ones pictured were made with sorghum)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • two bowls and a glass measuring cup
  • 9 x 13-inch greased and floured baking pan (don't forget the sides)
  1. Mix oil and sugar in larger bowl
  2. Sift dry ingredients together
  3. Combine soymilk and molasses in measuring cup
  4. Add dry ingredients alternating with wet ingredients to sugar/oil mix
  5. Add raisins
  6. Spead as evenly as you can in the pan. Batter is thick.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes in preheated 350˚ oven (will still be soft-don't overbake!)
  8. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then cut into bars. Makes 16 large bars or 32 smaller ones.
The bars are at their best when completely cool. They are addictively chewy and cakey at the same time. I froze my leftovers so I wouldn't eat them all at once. These are good! (And they taste good frozen, too.)
Here are two pictures of the street where we live—just in case you think I'm making up the stuff I write about the snow. They were taken right outside our house.

Here it is March 16 and I'm in Seattle meeting my brand new, very beautiful granddaughter. Yesterday, everyone was craving a treat, so I made the gingery bars. I made them with blackstrap molasses because that's what we had, and I over-baked them because the baby started crying and what with the diaper changing and comforting, we forgot about the bars and they over-baked. Babies will cause that to happen. Happily, the bars still tasted great! I removed the note about not using blackstrap, but I still recommend not over-baking.
update2: I got this recipe from a co-worker who got it from her grandmother. She even has a scan of a very old letter written to or by her grandmother that contained this recipe. My co-worker was stunned when I told her I had found the recipe on several places on the Web and that it wasn't original. Obviously it must have come from an old cookbook and no one remembers which one, or has chosen not to mention it. Even when I've changed a recipe, I like to credit the source, so if you ever come across this recipe in a book, let me know. I think the original bars were called "hermits."


  1. i love to shop at www.wholeandnatural.com. they have all kinds of healthy and natural kosher food and snacks including organic blackstrap molasses. the stuff is fresh and low prices.
    seeya, debby
    btw i used a coupon bldc08 try it

  2. Thanks for the tip. I went to the Web site and it does look good. Lucky for me, though, we have a great food co-op, a Trader Joe's, a Whole Foods Market and several chain groceries that sell organic and natural foods, so I rarely have to order anything online.


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