Molasses may be “slower in January,” but the fall makes us crave this thick, intensely flavored syrup. Think beyond molasses cookies—this pantry staple brings a dose of sweetness and a hint of warmth to lots of dishes, from barbecue sauce to gingerbread to baked beans.
Molasses is derived from sugar cane juice. The first boiling makes a light syrup that’s perfect for pouring over pancakes and waffles—or with the addition of live yeast and a little age—for making rum. But it’s the second boiling we love—a darker, thicker, slightly less sweet syrup with a signature flavor that’s ideal for baked goods, glazes and marinades.
Brush pork, chicken or lamb with a mixture of lemon juice, molasses, Dijon mustard and garlic.
Combine molasses, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a drizzle of sesame oil for a marinade for pork and salmon.
Molasses Cream Pie
For a quick-and-easy dessert, whisk 2 tablespoons molasses with 1/2 cup canned pumpkin pie filling and a pint of softened vanilla bean ice cream or frozen yogurt. Spoon into a cookie or graham-cracker pie crust (gingerbread would be especially tasty), refreeze and serve garnished with whipped cream and warm caramel sauce.