Grape Molasses and tahini rolls

June 1, 2011  •  Category: ,


About a hundred years ago, grape molasses was the sweet of choice in rural Lebanon. Mixed with water and orange blossom essence for a summer drink, mixed with bread and ghee for a quick pudding, mixed with flour for some cookies, with bulgur, with chick peas…the list is very long.

Grape molasses is simply the molasses extracted from the sweet grapes. In our village in the Chouf mountains, there is a communal press which will  make you some from your own grapes. The difference in taste and quality between the artisanal grape molasses and the ones available at the store is stark, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

So here is some  super-easy rolls, made with some frozen puff pastry, grape molasses and tahini. It is not very sweet, so feel free to sprinkle some raw brown sugar on top before throwing them in the oven if you have an acute sweet tooth.


  • 1 Sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 cup of tahini (stir before pouring)
  • 1/2 cup of grape molasses
  • 1 cup of raw (brown) sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk to brush the pastries before baking (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Defrost the puff pastry sheet (or make your own: Just kidding)
  2. In a small bowl, pour one cup of tahini and 1/2 cup of grape molasses; you may adjust this depending on the size of your sheet of pastry and your taste, adding more molasses if the taste is too nutty and vice-versa.
  3. Spread the tahini/molasses mixture on the pastry. Sprinkle one cup of raw sugar on top if desired. Roll up like a jelly roll and cut into even-sized pieces. Place on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat (silicone sheet) or parchment paper. Brush the rolls with an egg yolk if you like sheen on the pastry. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for about 12 minutes or until the rolls are golden and puffed and crisped.

Grape molasses is sold in ethnic stores (such as Greek, Turkish, Middle-Eastern), some health food stores, some supermarkets and online.


39 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Radha Rayasam says:

    A very crisp, clean, and lovely blog! Lots to learn! Great recipe, awesome clicks!

  2. The food doctor says:

    What a lovely creation! will have to try that real soon..
    you are truly talanted with photography..I love your pictures

  3. Ladybird says:

    Oh how delicious – they look like the perfect accompaniment to a nice hot cup of coffee 🙂

  4. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    Que ça me tenterait bien pour mon petit-déjeuner … ;o) Je n’ai rien de pareil ici mais je me régale virtuellement, en attendant de trouver de la mélasse de raisin pour m’y coller moi- même, à ces petits pains appétissants …
    Bisous et bonne journée

  5. Banana Wonder says:

    This is so interesting! I have never seen grape molasses before – it sounds delicious with the tahini and the puff pastry rolled up. I will have to look out for some when I am down in Los Angeles.

  6. Rosa says:

    Those are great! I am a big fan of tahini and tend to put it everywhere, so this recipe is for me. I also can’t wait to try my grape molasses.



  7. Priya says:

    Those rolls looks extremely addictive, wonderful snacks..

  8. Joanne says:

    Any variation on a cinnamon roll sounds good to me…but especially good when it involves these fantastic ingredients!

  9. Angie's Recipes says:

    Those rolls look like just right out of the bakery…no, they look even BETTER!

  10. Jamie says:

    Mmmmm heavenly! I guess I can use pomagranite molasses instead? These look great and sound so delicious! Perfect snack!

    • Joumana says:

      @Jamie: I would not use pomegranate molasses as it is too sour for this. See the pomegranate molasses comes from the variety of pomegranates that are sour and is used in savory dishes or to flavor salad dressings and so on. The grape molasses comes from the sweetest grapes (theoretically!) and, when made at home, it is sweet. The store-bought kind while not as sweet as the homemade kind, is still on the sweet scale. Of course, I would substitute carob molasses but I ran out!

      @Samantha: Sure, date molasses would work. Initially I wanted to use carob molasses but ran out and the store did not have any.

      @Ummomar: Sure, use the phyllo and the sugarcane syrup and report back~ 🙂

  11. Mark Wisecarver says:

    Awesome. You don’t have to kid about making your own, if you want I can blog about a fun and simple way to make the dough for these from scratch. No machines needed.

  12. Mark Scarbrough says:

    OK, you got me. Grape molasses? Never heard of it. Never even seen it. I’m going to have to make a run to the Arabic grocery store over in West Hartford to see if I can track it down.

  13. Erica says:

    I love all your recipes! They look so delicious!!! I love tahini and I would like to try those.

  14. Samantha says:

    I bet it would be good with date molasses too, no? I always mix date molasses and tahini together as a spread for pita.

  15. Citron says:

    Absolutely delightful! I’ve been missing dropping-by your blog. Hopefully things will slow down a bit for me and I’ll be able to come by and hang-out more often.

  16. ummomar says:

    Could I use filo pastry and asal aswid (sugarcane molasses) instead?

  17. Tova says:

    These sound absolutely divine. I’ve never heard of grape molasses before but now I’m determined to get my hands on some!

  18. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Beautiful! I can imagine many things to go with this!

  19. Radhika @ foodfor7stages says:

    Grape molasses sound really yumm. Let me check if I can get them here.

  20. Kristen says:

    I’ve never tried grape molasses. These rolls look like the perfect breakfast!

  21. Caffettiera says:

    Interesting introduction for yet another mistery ingredients. There are so many molasses a the Middle East grocery store, carob, grapes, you name it. So far i just tried the acidic pomegranate and now can’t do without it.

  22. Claudia says:

    How sweet this is! I have never heard of grape molasses (I lead a sheltered life), but I know me and know I could not stop at one. I love being introduced to other staples. I was suspicious that the world did not live on tomatoes and pasta – but now I’m sure.

  23. Chiara says:

    These rolls look like the perfect breakfast with a cup of coffee…have a lovely weekend Joumana, a kiss

  24. ummomar says:

    I tried to make them with phyllo and sugarcane molasses and they turned out just great! I used whole package of phyllo layering it with melted clarified butter, covered the top layer with tahina-asal aswid mixture and quarter of cup brown sugar, and baked. No egg, just butter on the top. Nice alternative to just eating the mixture with flatbread. But I became curious, if this is something you came up with yourself or is it something from the Lebanese kitchen?

  25. ummomar says:

    Of course I rolled and cut them as well, as you did.

  26. Peter says:

    Joumana, I love when you post recipes with grape molasses (petimezi)…an ancient ingredient and a versatile one…take these rolls as an example!

  27. Cherine says:

    Tahini and grape molasses make a wonderful combination. And with your creation am sure they taste divine!

  28. Nuts about food says:

    These are really pretty and I like the idea that they are not that sweet.

  29. Magic of Spice says:

    These look so delicious, I am intrigued by the grape molasses…sounds wonderful 🙂

  30. Oui, Chef says:

    Hmmm…I have Al Wadi pomegranate molasses, but have never seen the grape variety. It’s going on my shopping list, because this is a MUST MAKE recipe! – S

  31. domi says:

    Excellent pour l’heure du thé ou au p’tit déjeuner….

  32. lucky says:

    Hey everyone here. Can u guys give me a some idea that here can i get wholesale containers of grape molasess and date s molasess , pomegranate molasess. we live near los angeles.thanks-lucky

    • Joumana says:

      @lucky: I would ask the middle-eastern grocer where he gets his; also check the labels; there is a company called Ziyad that imports wholesale; they may sell wholesale to you.

  33. Maria Baldjieva says:

    Thanks for this great recipe! Would pomegranate molasses work instead of grape molasses?

  34. Leya says:

    Thank you, Joumana, for sharing this recipe. I just made these rolls for my lovely future mother-in-law, who is turkish. I cannot wait to share with the family! I’m also looking forward to trying the Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe with grape molasses and tahini! Yum!!

    Finally, Happy Mother’s Day to you 🙂

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