Sunday, January 31, 2016

Caribbean Bars

When you look up butterscotch, you will see that it is a mixture of brown sugar and butter. There are many recipes that include those ingredients, but they do not refer to "butterscotch flavor". On the other hand, several recipes including butter will refer to it as a flavor..butter cake, butter cookies. This does not make much sense, since butterscotch does have a more distinctive flavor than butter.

These little bars do contain that distinctive flavor in the form of butterscotch chips. They also contain bananas and nuts. The pairing of this trio does make for some tasty bars. The texture is less dense that chewy cookie bars, but more dense than a cake.

Having them as an snack or with tea in the afternoon makes for a nice treat. The squares are best defined as a little sweetness that is not heavy or rich.

Caribbean Bars
adapted from Recipe Link

3 eggs
1-6 oz pkg of butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup melted chocolate or powdered sugar icing for topping

Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Grease the interior of a 10x15 inch baking pan and line bottom and 2 sides with parchment paper, allowing for overhang on the sides. Grease the surface of the face up side of the parchment. Also, place a cooling rack over a flat surface covered with wax paper.

Sift together the salt, baking powder and flour. Set aside. Fill another bowl with the brown sugar and the butter. Beat until fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Continue to run the mixer and add one egg. Blend with the mixer on medium for about 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat the process with each of the remaining eggs, adding them one at a time. Remove bowl from mixer stand.

Using a wooden spoon, add the mashed bananas and mix until completely blended. Fold in the sifted ingredients until no dry streaks remain. Lastly, fold in the nuts and butterscotch chips, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Empty the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out, covering the bottom and all 4 corners evenly.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes, rotate pan and bake for additional 15-20 minutes. Bars are done when tester comes out clean.  Place pan on cooling rack and cool completely in pan. Run a knife between the unlined sides of the pan and the cake bar. Then, pull on the parchment overhang to loosen.Then invert the pan over a platter and remove the parchment paper. Invert again onto the cooling rack. Drizzle 3/4 cup melted chocolate or powdered sugar icing over top. Cut and serve once topping is set.

Tips and Notes:
1. Bear in mind that the degree of ripeness of the banana will impact the flavor. As the banana ripens, the flavor gets stronger-so over ripe will make it a more prominent flavor. I just used a ripe banana so the flavor was subtle. The recipe did not refer to either, it just stated banana. If you choose an over ripe banana you may need to increase the amount of flour.

2. The average baker does not have a 10x15 inch baking pan. You can use 2 mini loaves and one 9x13 inch baking pan. Those are the pans I used.

                                    **LAST YEAR:Figgy Dickens Cookies**