Friday, July 10, 2009

Cashew Ginger Bars

There is such a long story to these bar cookies. I think I have mentioned before that my husband’s family is British. We were in England for Christmas 2002 and his aunt gave me this cookbook. It has really interesting cookies with different flavors. I was excited to try some of the bar cookies in this book until I realized what pan I needed to use: a 20 x 30 centimeter lamington pan.

Have you ever heard of a lamington pan? I certainly hadn’t, and any attempt to find one was unsuccessful. With some research (I am a librarian after all) I discovered that a lamington pan is a shallow baking pan. This cookbook is Australian in origin and I could find many lamington pans for sale through Australian sites, but I couldn’t find a place that would ship to the U.S. I figured any shallow baking pan would do, but finding something that is 20 x 30 centimeters (about 8” x 11”) just wasn’t happening.

Several years went by and I had basically given up on finding this pan. Recently I was in Williams Sonoma looking at their baking section and I noticed that they had a rectangular fluted tart pan that was listed as a 29 centimeter tart pan. The metal is a little thinner than a baking pan but it had shallow sides, and it looked like it may be about the right size. I had the sales associate measure the pan and it was 20 x 29 centimeters. Close enough for me! It wasn’t even very expensive, so I was thrilled.

The pan worked wonderfully! I did butter and line the pan as the recipe instructed, which was a little different as you wouldn’t normally grease a tart pan. These are so good! A ginger shortbread crust with a topping of cashews and candied ginger. The measurements for the butter are a little odd since I had to convert the measurement from grams. Also, if you can’t find golden syrup you could substitute light corn syrup or honey. These are super addictive. The ginger flavor is strong but not overpowering. I love ginger, but sometimes it can be too much. These were such a great success that I am looking forward to trying more recipes from this cookbook.

9 tablespoons butter, softened

¼ cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger


½ cup powdered sugar

4-1/2 tablespoons butter

1-1/2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, chopped

¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger

Lightly grease 20 x 30 cm lamington pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment, making sure that the parchment hangs over the sides of the pan. Butter the parchment. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (The recipe calls for a “moderate” oven, which is 350-375 degrees.)

Beat the butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl. Beat until fluffy. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in the pan.

To prepare the topping, in a medium saucepan combine the powdered sugar, butter, and golden syrup. Stir over medium heat until the butter is melted; stir in the cashews and the candied ginger. Spread the topping over the cooled base, and then cool completely. Once cool, cut into bars.

Recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbooks: Biscuits and Slices

1 comment:

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I heard of lamingtons, but I had no idea about the pans. Thanks for the interesting post!