This recipe was featured in Southern Living. It is my variation of my great great great aunt Frances's Shoofly Pie recipe. It melds my Southern and Pennsylvania Dutch roots. I substitute Southern sorghum for traditional black strap molasses. And rather than fussing with a pie crust, I forgo it altogether, which saves prep and baking time, yet still nets the ooey-gooey taste and texture of shoofly pie. The sorghum lightens up these bars, which I love - I'm not into super sweet desserts. I've added black pepper to help cut through the sweetness. Flaky Maldon salt sprinkled on top at the end cuts through the sweetness, too, and gives a welcomed bit of crunch with every bite. Use a 10"x15" rimmed baking sheet - the filling fits it perfectly.
Makes 18-24 bars
- 1 cup All-Purpose flour
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoons shortening
- 1 cup sorghum
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups chopped pecans (optional)
- 1½ tablespoons Maldon salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Mix together the flour and brown sugar in a medium mixing bowl with a fork. Work the shortening in with your fingers until it forms small crumbles. Set aside ¼ cup of the crumb mixture until the filling is ready to bake.
Add the sorghum, egg, black pepper and ¾ cup of the hot water to the remaining crumbs.
Add the baking soda to the remaining ¼ cup of hot water to activate. Pour into the mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon. It will foam up slightly. Stir in the pecans, if desired.
Pour the mixture into a 10"x15" baking sheet. Top with the reserved crumbs. Place in the oven on the middle rack.
Bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 350°F. Bake for another 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center and the sides begin to pull away from the edge of the baking sheet.
Place on a wire rack to cool for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with the salt. Cut into 1½”-2” bars.