8.15.2010

oatmeal molasses ice cream sandwiches

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I've been on a mission. My mission is to cut down on mine and my family's sugar consumption but still enjoy a few goodies and desserts along the way. The cookies used in these scrumptious ice cream sandwiches get most of their sweetness from black strap molasses. I've always read that black strap molasses has some nice health benefits so I have felt good about using it in an occasional recipe. This evening I ran across THIS article regarding black strap molasses and it made me wonder if all that I have read or thought about molasses all these years was just a bunch of bunk.

The article completely slams molasses, calling it a waste product and a super junk food. The author states that molasses is not delicious to any normal human palate and that it is, in fact, downright repulsive. It seems there is a lot of opinion thrown in with fact. The author does makes some valid points, however. I found myself wanting to delve a bit deeper to get at the truth.

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Next, I found THIS article. It praises black strap molasses, calling it a healthful sweetener full of minerals that promote health. This article states that molasses contains iron, calcium, copper, manganese and potassium. Impressive! The article also has a link to THIS article that talks about just how unhealthy agave nectar is...and why.

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Wow! This search for a healthy sugar alternative gets more complicated with every recipe. How do I find the truth?

Well, I'm going to post my ice cream sandwich recipe so do with it what you will. Alter it if you like. Use whichever sweetener you feel is best.

Oatmeal Molasses Cookies
by theUngourmet

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup black strap molasses
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Xylitol
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 cups stone ground whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Cream together the butter, molasses, brown sugar and Xylitol. Mix in the egg. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. Place scoops of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten each scoop to about 1/3-1/2 inch thick circle. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool.

To make ice cream sandwiches, simply place a scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor (Handmade... or not. Sugar-free...or not.) on top of one of the cookies. Place another cookie on top. Voila! We used a lovely peach ice cream. It paired nicely with the spices in the cookies.

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So, what's your opinion of Molasses? Health food or Junk food???



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43 comments:

Sarah@AlpinePoppy said...

Wow, so much information, thanks for making it all available. Here is my two cents.... I vote for healthy! { I have heard of people taking a teaspoon of black strap molasses for altitude sickness }. I think that as with anything you still need to use a healthy dose of moderation with your consumption of it, but It has to be better for you than all the highly processed sweeteners that are out there. I certainly feel better feeding my family foods that are as un processesed as possible. But that is just my 2 cents :)

Sophie said...

Waw!! What fenomenal & special filled cookies!!

The cookies look so appetizing!!

That ice cream looks just stunning too!

I don't use molasses a lot. It isn't used much in Belgian cooking & baking!

Fuat Gencal said...

Ellerinize sağlık. Çok leziz ve güzel görünüyor.

Saygılar.

Cailin @ Stir Crazy said...

This is why research on the internet can be so confusing ;) I don't have much to say about molasses since I don't know much about it (but now I'm tempted to read up some more), but the cookies look delicious! These ice cream sandwiches remind me of coming home after school when I was younger. I used to make them as my afternoon treat!

Joanne said...

I think molasses actually is a pretty healthy sugar due to all the vitamins and minerals it has in it. I also think agave is healthy because it doesn't make your blood sugar rise as quickly or as steeply as regular sugar does. However. To be fair, both of these are still sugars and thus are not actually HEALTH foods by any means. But everything in moderation, right? They are both surely healthi-ER alte4rnatives.

The cookies look fantastic!

Evan @swEEts said...

These cookies look great.. it annoys me when there are so many countering articles on the internet.. I went through the same ordeal when trying to figure out the truth about agave nectar! What does the Xylitol do in the recipe?

bellini valli said...

If it has ice cream sandwiched inbetween you know I am there and the bonus is the molasses cookies are good for you:D

Claudia said...

I am also looking to reduce sugar- I use agave but you know - maybe you just do it all in moderation as others suggest. Not a daily dessert but a once-in-a-while treat. I am wishing for your ice cream sandwich longingly.

Randi Troxell said...

wowzer.. that was a LOT to sift through to get to the truth...

but hey! i think the sandwiches look fabulous!!!

Pam said...

My kids would LOVE these... actually, so would I!

TKW said...

All of the conflicting food "evidence" can get maddening, can't it? Evil molasses or not, these look divine.

Monet said...

I don't know if molasses is good for you or not, but I do know that these cookie treats look DELICIOUS. I would be eating at least three!

Connie W said...

I don't have a clue about molasses...but these ice cream sandwiches look so good. How could they not be good for you. Has to be better than plain old sugar.

Kristin said...

Can you pop on over to my house with one of those pretty please? HA!

5 Star Foodie said...

I need to find out more about molasses. Meanwhile your ice cream sandwiches look scrumptious!

Jennifurla said...

woman these are like heaven in my face, want

sweetlife said...

great ice cream treat, great option on using molasses, oh I just saw your cheesecake stuffed berries, lovely

sweetlife

Juliana said...

Kim, these oatmeal cookies are just perfect with the ice cream...they look so yummie!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm all over this. I can't do a lot of sugar b/c of tummy issues (much to my dismay!) so less intense sugary stuff is right up my ally.

Faith said...

I love how you made these cookies into ice cream sandwiches, what a great idea! I think molasses is a bit healthier than sugar (just because it's less refined and has more vitamins and minerals). I like to use honey a lot -- it has so many health benefits!

Abby said...

This looks amazing! I vote for healthy as well. Have heard many lovely things about molasses, and I think it gets overlooked a lot. Of course molasses with moderation is best!

Reeni said...

The cookies look incredible! With ice cream between them they are just over the top! I have heard molasses is good for you too. I'm really curious now and am going to ask my nutritionist blog friend about it.

Emily said...

That's the hard part about the internet. You can find pretty contradicting "facts" and opinions on pretty much any topic. The fact that you're trying to provide a healthier diet for your family is a good start. I say just stick with your instincts, and you can't go wrong! These cookies look utterly delicious, no matter what! :)

Samantha @ The Savvy Soybean said...

Well, too much of anything can't be great for you... whether it be agave, molasses, stevia, what have you. But these ice cream sandwiches I could eat constantly! They look fantastic.

Jeannie said...

I have been reducing the sugar in all of my baking recipes to be more healthy and I don't use molasses for the simple fact that it is more expensive than brown sugar or other sugars. Would love to try some of these cookies, they looks so good with the icecream!

scrambledhenfruit said...

Everything in moderation! I like to use honey as a sweetener- all those bees can't be wrong! These ice cream sandwiches look delicious. Thanks!

koralee said...

No way...I think it just may have to be a baking day today..our weather if finally normal after such high temps. I think these cookies sound amazing! Off to check if I have all the supplies. Hugs. oxxoxoxo

Mimi said...

Ice cream sandwiches look terrific. I use regular dark or light molasses frequently, but I find that black strap can have an unpleasant taste.
Mimi

Angie's Recipes said...

What a magnificent idea! Excellent photography!

Stella said...

Oh Kim! The truth...the truth-it's so hard to find. You know, it's funny this author feels the way he does about molasses. I always feel that the molasses are the 'good' and 'healthful' part of sugar that is removed through processing. You know, just like fiber is removed from rice to make it white! And, indeed, molasses are full of iron, and a tbsp. of molasses has more potassium than a banana! Yeah, I have to disagree with his waste product statement. To me, it's innately flawed, as he describes molasses as a 'waste product'-of what? Processing! We all know processing usually gets us in trouble with food...
Anyway, these look wonderful! And I applaud your use of the 'good part' of sugar (smile). Ooh, I bought a bag of Xylitol btw...

Jenn said...

Perfect on a hot day like today!!! I. WANT. ONE. NOW!!! :D

Foodessa said...

I have to admit, that even though I'm not familiar with xylitol...these cookies with all their complex great flavours will absolutely have to get baked. In my cookie folder they go. Winter baking is around the corner ;o)

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Maddy said...

This does look yummy! Can you taste a difference with the molasses?

Bee and Rose said...

I love this idea...especially since we are on a health kick here too!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Interesting info you found on black strap molasses. I have only read good things about it. I like the color and flavor that it adds to baked goods. Your ice cream sandwiches look amazing :)

Cathy said...

That's a great looking ice cream sandwich, Kim. I don't know about molasses but my grandmother sure believed it was good for us. She made us take a tablespoon of it now and then when I was a child. For what, I don't know.

See you Saturday.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

If it wasn't for the awesome picture I could totally resist this but wow, that picture looks wonderful! I so want a bite!

Jamie said...

One can always find contradictory info. The first time I tasted molassas was when a college roommate's grandma came to have dinner at our house. She brought her famous homemade Shoo Fly Pie. As close to eating molassas right out of the jar as you can get. First bite was horrid! Blah! Second bad.. but couldn't NOT eat it in front of Nana. By the time we had each eaten one slice we had not only fallen in love but we were addicted! We finished the pie as soon as she left. Love molassas cookies and yours look fabulous! Love the ice cream sandwich.

kate funk said...

I need this now.
Velvet Cupcakes

Molly @ A Bit O' Shine said...

YUM!

That is all.

;)

UrMomCooks said...

Oh my gosh... Just made oatmeal cookies today (OK, maybe not super healthy ones like yours...). Am SO going to make up some ice cream sandwiches! The fam will be thrilled! Delicious pic!!!

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, I want an ice-cream sandwich too! Lovely flavours!

Suzi said...

Mmmm, sounds delish. I always add a bit of molasses to my chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies. It gives it a bit of chewiness and helps keep them fresher longer.

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