Chocolate-Molasses Bars

October 27, 2007

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I modified these chewy bar cookies slightly because some ROL readers don’t like the combination of orange and chocolate. If that’s you, substitute chopped raisins or dates for the orange zest. And by all means use your favorite nuts. However you make these cookies, they’ll be fabulous. If you’re feeding kids, they’ll make a great lunch box snack. SAM

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
2 1/2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, grated
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts
1/4 cup coarsely grated orange zest or chopped raisins or dates

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the flour mixture alternately with the molasses, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in the chocolate, nuts, and orange zest, raisins, or dates by hand. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan on a wire rack and cut into bars.
Makes 3 dozen bars.