A few days ago we invited friends over for a last-minute Sunday night supper. The week had been frenetic, leaving me with no time for special cooking, so I opted to make part of the meal and purchase the rest. As appetizers I served cheeses bought at our local farmers market with toasted baguette slices, and radishes that were dipped in a bowl of softened sweet butter and another of sea salt. I ordered several pizzas from a local pizzeria, and served them with a fall salad that our generous guests contributed. And, for dessert I baked old fashioned molasses spice cake squares.
The recipe for the dark, moist squares, studded with walnuts and raisins, came to me back in 2007 from Kelle Quist, a talented personal chef in western Massachusetts. The scrumptious squares, created by her grandmother many years ago, have been a long time family favorite, and it’s easy to see why. The combination of spices, paired with molasses and surprisingly with brewed coffee, results in a beautiful blending of flavors. In fact the only change I made to the original directions was to replace vegetable shortening with sweet butter.