Are You Ready?



with Michael Patrick McKinley

Have you ever wandered into the kitchen just before midnight with an insatiable sweet tooth? Only to find when you arrived that there was nothing to appease it? Well that's exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago. And I mean there was NOTHING. Not even chewing gum.

Then I spied it. A half full jar of Molasses. Without hesitation I grabbed a spoon and stuck it right into the the intense flavor dissolved on my palette, my senses writhed with joy ( okay maybe that's a little much ) and my desire was satisfied. I just LOVE moolasses.

So the inspiration came to me. For my first article, for my new monthly column here at Stacey's Hot Dish. It's called POTLUCK [thanks for the moniker Joe!] and you gentle readers can expect exactly that- anything I feel like bringing! I'm really thrilled and honored that Stacey has asked me to contribute to this exciting new reinvention of his blog.

Back to my molasses epiphany. What would I try to create? It came instantly [you know, like its supposed to in an epiphany]. Molasses Ice Cream. I mulled around how I would do it. Should I substitute molasses for the sugar in an egg-based custard style ice cream? After a bit of rumination, it occurred to me that I probably wasn't the first person to think of molasses ice cream. Sure enough, 30 seconds into a Google search and I had about 100 recipes to choose from. Only as I started to review them, I realized that the lion's share of them were all the same. It's an egg-less, 4 ingredient concoction that seems to have originated in Gourmet Magazine [RIP Gourmet, we miss you]. Who am I to reinvent that wheel?

Just below you'll find the recipe, and my eventual double-dip. Pun intended. Don't forget that the wonderfully complex and robust qualities of this byproduct of sugar refining is a delicious additive in savory cooking as well. Add it to marinades and glazes, salad dressings...and it always pairs beautifully with pork. By all means, experiment! Oh and by the way. This recipe turned out to be a killer winner, and became an outrageously drop-dead-delicious thing of mouth watering beauty when I paired it up with a prized family recipe of my own...


  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. molasses
  • 2 c. half & half
Blend the cream cheese, brown sugar, and molasses in a food processor until creamy and completely incorporated. With the motor running, slowly pour in the half and half until combined. Pour into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturers directions.

It will have a "soft serve" appearance at this stage. Turn out into an airtight container [or fancy pink bowl] and freeze until hard.

It should be scoopable in a couple of hours. Enjoy a dish now, or take it one more, decedent step further...

The epiphany grew more detailed. What if I made a short batch of my family's heirloom ginger-molasses cookies, and turned them into ice cream sandwiches? OH be still my molasses-loving heart....You'll want to HALF the recipe below, go ahead and use 2 eggs.



1 1/2 cups shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 eggs
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup robust molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
6 cups all purpose flour

Cream together shortening and sugars. Beat in eggs. Add spices and extracts, then molasses. Dissolve baking soda in water and stir in. Add the flour, one cup at a time. USE A STURDY METAL SPOON, OR MAKE IN A STAND MIXER. The 5th or 6th cup of flour will be the end of a wooden spoon!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll out grapefruit sized balls of the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Rose's daughter, my Grandmother, always said to me "Don't be afraid to roll them out nice and thick!" I like to use simple, broad shapes for my cutters. Space 1 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Yes, they bake quick and all ovens calibrate a little differently, so watch the first couple of trays carefully, and scope out the bottoms just to make sure. They will puff up and turn a paler shade of brown when they are close. Remove cookies promptly to cool on racks, or on brown paper bags. When cool, stack like shapes together and store in an airtight container until ready to frost.

HELPFUL TIP: If they over bake (and become too crunchy when cooled) throw a few slices of soft bread in the container and let them sit with the cookies overnight- that should soften them up!

NOTE: For either the ice cream or the cookie recipe, you can use light or dark brown sugar, and mild or robust molasses. I happened to have used dark brown sugar, and robust molasses, but I was going for intensity, and depth of flavor. You know your taste buds better than anyone.
Create accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Mockie!!! I do believe that I was the first person on earth to try this particular combination of yummy goodness, and I must say to you all... "It is a sensational sensory overload!" You gotta try this!!!! STACEY DEAN