Oatmeal molasses bars
Although I love chocolate, I am also a sucker for a good chewy oatmeal raisin cookie (and even more so if there is chocolate in it). So when I was looking for recipes to use up the last of this jar of molasses I had, I thought it would be great to put the remainder into an oatmeal cookie. The original recipe didn’t call for chocolate but obviously I had to add some. Then I was feeling quite lazy and didn’t really want to apportion all the dough out into cookie dough balls on the sheet, so just put it all into a square pan and called it a day. And now we have my take on a delightful oatmeal raisin cookie variation in bar form. Bars are great because you just whack all the dough in one pan, let it bake for a bit longer than you would cookies, and then when they are cool cut them into whatever size pieces you want.
These bars smell fantastic when they’re baking mostly due to the cinnamon, but in general the molasses gives them a deeper sweetness than typical oatmeal cookies, and they are delightfully chewy with a mouthful of raisins and chocolate in every bite. Really simple to make, and particularly great if you happen to have some spare molasses lying around! (I used up the last of mine with this recipe, so no more molasses themed recipes for a while haha)
Oatmeal molasses bars (adapted from Sweet Society)
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition, and then pour in the molasses and mix until just combined. Then toss in your baking soda, baking powder, and other spices, followed by mixing the flour and oats in slowly. When it’s not quite combined, add in the raisins and chocolate chips and mix it all until it’s a somewhat sticky dough.
Spread in a square pan lined with parchment paper and smooth it out with a spatula or fork to make sure it’s even. Bake for about 15 minutes – check at that point and if it’s not done let it go till 20 or 22 minutes. It should be golden brown and a knife inserted in the centre should come out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into bars (you can speed this up by popping them in the fridge or freezer).
I really enjoyed making this dough into a bar as opposed to individual cookies – it’s a pretty sticky dough so it just makes it really simple to spread it in a pan and let it bake like that before cutting into bars. The molasses makes them sweet for sure (but in a more complex way than just white sugar would) and adds great chewy texture, and of course you can’t go wrong with adding chocolate into the mix. Basically I think this is a a great take on the classic oatmeal raisin cookie!