Friday, January 18, 2013

Tea and Spice Bars

Since I got home from my trip, I haven’t quite been in the mood to bake as much. I’m sure I’ll get back in the swing of things, but until then I might be posting just a little less. But I won’t miss the Friday cookie posts. I really enjoy coming up with something to bake. It’s a little different as I am on sabbatical and not going in to work every day, but there are lots of different ways to deliver cookies!

One thing that I have been thinking about is how many recipes I have been posting that are things that I’ve seen on other blogs. I do get a lot of inspiration from other blogs, but sometimes I feel like the same recipes just keep making circles around the web. So I have decided to try and make more recipes from the cookbooks that I own. I own so many great ones, so why not use them a little more?

I found this recipe in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, which has never let me down. You steep raisins in tea and then puree them, adding them to the bar cookies. The cookies are flavored with the fruit as well as molasses, honey and spices. I left out the candied ginger, and you don’t miss it at all. These are super moist and the flavors are so good. I don’t pick out the tea flavor that much, but the other flavors more than make up for it. Tea is very popular at my workplace (duh, it’s a library) and I think these will be a hit!

Tea and Spice Bars
¾ cup strong tea (2 teabags + ¾ cup boiling water)
2 cups raisins or other dried fruit
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons strong tea

In a medium bowl, combine the strong tea and raisins; allow to steep. Proceed once the mixture is cool. Put the raisins and any remaining liquid in a food processor and process until chopped.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar, molasses, honey, salt and spices. Cook the mixture until it bubbles around the edge of the pan, 3-5 minutes. Add the pureed fruit and any remaining liquid. Bring the mixture to a full boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a half sheet pan, 13” x 18”

In a small bowl combine the flour and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the cooled fruit mixture. Add the egg and mix until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a cake tested inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before glazing.

In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, melted butter and tea. Drizzle over the cooled cookies. Allow to set before cutting into bars.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

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