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`Molasses, molasses, it's icky, gicky goo. Molasses, molasses, it always sticks to you."

- Kaysville reader Vickie Snow.Stick to the subject - molasses.

Sticking to a recipe using molasses guarantees a distinctive flavor.

Molasses becomes an authoritative taste in a wide collection of recipes - from baked beans to gingerbread, coffeecakes to meat sauces and granolas to traditional favorites like Shoo Fly Pie.

Light molasses can be used as a topping for pancakes or hot cereal. Dark molasses is used to flavor many New England dishes. It improves the keeping qualities of breads and other baked goods and imparts a dark color and recognizable flavor to many recipes.

A natural sweetener, molasses is a byproduct of the cane sugar refining

process. Light molasses is the residue from the first boiling of the sugar cane juice; the second boiling yields dark molasses. Blackstrap molasses is the very dark, strongly flavored residue of the third boiling. High in minerals, blackstrap molasses is usually found in health food stores.

Molasses may be sulfured or unsulfured depending on whether sulfur was used in the sugar-making process.

As a sweetener, molasses has about half the strength of white sugar, though one cup of molasses could be substituted for 3/4 cup of sugar. The molasses should replace no more than half the amount of sugar called for in the recipe.

There were few replacements for molasses during colonial days. Early pioneers relied on molasses when supplies of sugar were limited. Molasses was a staple in covered wagons as the colonists expanded the country westward.

Throughout the history of cooking in this country, molasses has played an integral part. New England cookbooks bulge with traditional favorites like Boston Brown Bread, Boston Baked Beans or Old English Plum Pudding. Southern cooks used molasses in regional recipes like Molasses Muffins, Plantation Sweet Potato Pone and Gingerbread Pudding.

Jane and Michael Stern, Deseret News columnists and regional cooking specialists, share a story about Molasses Kringles from Racine, Wis.,also known as "Kringleville."

"The trademark pastry is a broad cake, less than an inch high and containing several dozen near-microscopic layers of dough and butter - like an enormous croissant but flakier - glazed with brown sugar and cinnamon, then filled with pecan, apple, date, prune or cheese and finally iced with a clear sugar frosting."

Molasses recipes in Utah may not make national history, but they have a distinctive way of sticking to a prominent place in our recipe files.

Enjoy trying our reader's best selections.


Recipes listed:

Poke 'N pour ginger cake

Crunch bars

Granola Mix

Shoo fly pie

Pecan pie

Spicy molasses oatmeal bars

Swedish gingerbread dough

Quick baked beans

Beef 'N bean roll-ups

Molasses sugar cookies

Grandma's buttermilk molasses quickbread


(Additional information)

Next month: Spread out your cream cheese recipes

Spread it on a bagel. Blend it for a dip. Whip it up with sour cream and chocolate for an inimitable cheesecake.

Call it versatile cream cheese.

Cream cheese, the victim of nutritional onslaughts during recent years, tidied up its consumer image with lower-fat versions. Whipped and spreadable, cream cheese became more convenient to use. Cream cheese combined with fruits, herbs or seasonings eliminates home preparation of such spreads.

With the holiday season on the horizon, cream cheese stands as a prominent ingredient for party menus. Seldom does a holiday brunch, lunch, buffet or dinner take place without a foil-packaged rectangle of cream cheese being unwrapped and combined with other ingredients for a delectable treat.

Submit your favorite recipes, holiday or not, using cream cheese as a recipe ingredient.

Rules for submitting recipes are as follows:

1. Submit only one recipe per sheet of paper (but all can be mailed in one envelope). Include name and address with each recipe. Mail to Recipe Exchange, Deseret News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, UT 84110.

2. No more than three recipes will be accepted from any one person.

3. Recipes must be postmarked no later than Friday, Oct. 13, l989.

4. If identical recipes are received, the recipe with the earliest postmark will be selected for testing.

5. Recipes will be selected and tested by a panel of home economists, with the best recipes printed in the Deseret News food section the first Tuesday in November. Readers whose recipes are selected will receive $5.

Thanks to the following Utah cooks who shared their molasses recipes:

Ellen Koucos, Norma Richardson, Janet Houston, Shirley Larsen, Shauna Helie, Janis Lyday, Mabel Anderson, Elaine Walton, Mrs. M. Zitting, Vickie Snow, Connie Thomson, Jeff Thomson, Teri Taggart, Joanne Duncan, Marlene Little, Chandra Nielson, Carol Jensen, Janet Anderson, Colleen Marshall, Becky Bradshaw, Shauna Helie, Korinne G. Hullinger, Ramona Densley, Thelma Thelin, Darleen Masters, Tami Malan, Velda A. Neilson, Julie Baker and Portia Hawley.