Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dorie's Maine bars

These soft and chewy molasses bars will remind you of gingerbread. The recipe is a perfect non-chocolate dessert to feed a crowd!
I've been trying to borrow a copy of Dorie Greenspan's Dorie's Cookies for the past month or so at my local library. It's been checked out every single time. One week, I checked the online catalog and saw that the book had finally been returned.

I went to the shelf and couldn't find it so I asked our librarian to locate it for me. She's one of the two librarians in the children's wing that we've known for years, so she was more than happy to help me out. She found it in the sorting room pretty quickly. When she came back, she claimed that the book was so big that she could use it for weight training.
These bars were one of the first things that caught my eye. They seemed very similar to gingerbread but without the ginger. The bars happen to be eggless, so that is a positive for anybody who is allergic to eggs.

Dorie's bars are soft, chewy and have a similar texture to gingerbread. The bars have a bit of spring and chew to them and the flavors are almost holiday-like (minus the ginger). We gave a bunch of these away at gymnastics one weekend and they were really well received. You can cut these into larger or smaller bars depending upon your needs, but it's a wonderful non-chocolate dessert to feed a crowd.

Dorie's Maine bars 
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (204 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (204 grams) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) unsulfured molasses 
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • Coarse or granulated sugar for sprinkling
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or line a standard 9"x13" baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix the sugar, molasses, canola oil and egg together on medium speed until well blended.

Turn the mixer down to low and add in half of the dry ingredients until a few dry streaks remain. Then pour in the buttermilk and mix. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients until everything just comes together. The batter will be thick and heavy.

Transfer the batter to your prepared baking pan and evenly spread it out, making sure that you cover all the corners. Sprinkle the coarse or granulated sugar on top and bake in your preheated oven for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the bars to cool for about 10 minutes. Then run a blunt knife around the edge of the pan and flip the pan over onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. Slice and serve.

Leftover bars should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: One 9"x13" pan; About 20-24 squares (or more, if you cut them smaller)

Source: Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

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