Friday, March 11, 2011
Bourbon Fruit and Nut Bars
I had made bourbon bread pudding a couple of weeks ago and had discovered this wonderful sweet tea bourbon. It sounds a little unusual, but it was so good that we bought a bottle of it. I’ve been looking for different recipes that use bourbon. I have quite a few recipes bookmarked and I decided to make these first. Boozy cookies on Friday are always good.
These bars started out as Tennessee whiskey fruit and nut bars, and since bourbon is bourbon whiskey, I figured this would be good. My bourbon is from Kentucky, but close enough. These contain quite a bit of bourbon: bourbon in the dough, more in the frosting and I even soaked the raisins in the bourbon. Some of that bakes out, but not all of it! You can certainly taste the bourbon, but this bourbon is also quite sweet.
The dough for these seems more like cake batter and I guess these are quite cake-y. I thought that this might taste a little bit like Christmas cake (fruitcake, but really different than American fruitcake) since that traditionally has fruit and nuts and is laced with alcohol, but these were different. The bars are a little drier than expected, but the frosting adds the perfect touch. I really liked these and I look forward to trying all the other recipes that I found that use bourbon.
1 -1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 -1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup bourbon
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Alternately add the flour mixture and the bourbon in three additions, mixing until fully combined after each addition. With a spatula, stir in the chopped nuts, raisins, and chocolate chips. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let bars cool in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, in a large mixer bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, bourbon and vanilla until smooth. If needed, add additional bourbon (or milk) to make the frosting spreadable. Spread the frosting over the cooled bars and then cut into squares.
Recipe adapted from Recipes From The Road by Jamie and Bobby Dean and Melissa Clark