Friday, June 11, 2010
World Cup Bars
This recipe is my version of a Hermit Bar~a spicy, glazed cookie/cake bar, loaded with raisins. My mother made Hermit Bars and they were one of my favorites, I think because of the spice, but also because this cookie is dense and has a cake-like quality that's very comforting. So, my version...adds a dark cocoa to the mix and instead of raisins, I've substituted dried sweet cherries.
I first made a chocolate gingersnap one Christmas and since then, decided that chocolate and spices go very well together. Actually, I believe in the adage, anything goes with chocolate. This I know to be true because yesterday my dear friend, Ellen, offered me a chocolate covered edamame. They were delicious and somewhat inspired my World Cup Bars today!
World Cup Bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
10 T butter-flavored shortening (hint: I use the sticks for easy measuring)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cardamon
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
5 cups Cake flour
1/2 cup water*
1 cup chopped dried sweet cherries
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees bake. Spray a 10"x15" baking sheet with a oil spray. In a 2-cup glass measure, soak the cherries with very hot water. Meanwhile, in a KitchenAid, (or use a hand mixer with a large bowl) and using the paddle attachment, combine the butter, shortening and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the molasses, then the eggs, one at a time. Add the cocoa, spices and salt and blend well. Drain the cherries, reserving 1/2 cup of the "cherry water" to add with the flour. Add the flour and the reserved liquid and mix just until combined. Chopped the cherries and stir into the mixture. Spread the batter on the prepared pan. Bake 18-20 minutes until the top is shiny.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 T milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whisk together all ingredients and pour over bars. Spread with an off-set spatula. Cut into desired sized bars, but should make about 2 dozen. Enjoy!