June 23, 2010

Rocky Ledge Bars (My Version)

Rocky Ledge Bars, Rocky Road Bars and “Anything But The Kitchen Sink” Bars are some of the names these bars go by depending on the variations in the ingredients that go into them. Bars or cookies with “Rocky” in their names seem to invariably include marshmallows in them.

The “anything but the kitchen sink” tag comes from being able to put things like nuts, candies/ chocolate and savoury snack items and just about anything else which needs to be used up, into it!
While I understand where the “kitchen sink” concept comes from, and very much appreciate how important it is in my kitchen, I would rather not connect anything I eat to the kitchen sink for obvious reasons!
Now I discover there's another version of these Kitchen Sink bars called Compost Cookies/ Bars!!! Luckily for us, the cookies/ bars aren't even remotely anything like their names.

I don’t remember on whose blog I first saw these Rocky Ledge bars, but I remember they were adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe. When I checked out that recipe, the first thing that struck me was that these bars must be very, very sweet. There’s a whole lot of candy and chocolate and then some sugar in her ingredient list.

I still very much wanted to make them but decided to cut down the sugar and egg. I left out the marshmallows because of the gelatin in them. I used butterscotch chips instead of caramel candy and also added some caramel chocolate bars.
I added some salted cashewnuts which also balanced out the sweetness of the bars some more.

I substituted half of the flour with buckwheat flour. I have this stash of buckwheat flour which Deeba sent me quite some time back and though I have used it in a lot of my cooking/ baking, I haven’t blogged any of that yet.

I like the nutty taste that buckwheat flour lends to bakes but not everyone here feels the same way. I thought this was a good recipe in which I could use up some of it, as all the additions in these bars would ensure that the taste of buckwheat was muted.

Buckwheat flour (known as “kuttu ka atta” in north India and very popular during religious fasts) is a gluten-free flour and substituting her in a larger quantity will result in a very crumbly bar that will come apart while cutting it.

When I was stirring in all that stuff into the batter, I kept wondering how such a hotch-potch of ingredients would turn out. I was quite surprised to find that the bars were quite good.
A soft cakey base with a sometimes soft, sometimes chewy texture from the chocolate and caramel and then crunch from the cashewnuts and butterscotch chips makes these bars interesting and a bit addictive.
So if you are on a diet, watching calories for some reason or cannot live with the guilt of eating your way through these rather rich but delicious bars, I would suggest you find friends to give them away to like I did.

Rocky Ledge Bars (My Version)
(adapted from Martha Stewart)


50 gm salted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup packed demerara (or brown) sugar

1 egg

about 1 to 2 tbsp of milk (if needed) to thin the batter

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped (or broken) salted cashewnuts

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

70 gm caramel chocolate bars, chopped into small squares

(I used Cadbury 5 star bars)


Prepare an 8” by 8” square tin by lining it with parchment paper such that there is some over hang. This will help you pull the baked bars out of the tin after baking.

If you are one of those (like me) who don’t get parchment paper in the stores, you can use aluminium foil to line the tin. Cut a piece of aluminium foil of size such that there is a bit of overhang when placed into the tin. Grease the foil with butter or oil and carefully line the tin, making sure the foil does not tear.
I personally prefer foil for these types of bars as unmoulding them after baking is very easy.

Place the flours and baking powder in a bowl and whisk together so they’re well mixed.

In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes till light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat till mixed. Add the whisked flours and baking powder and beat till just well mixed. If your batter seem very thick, add a tbsp or two of milk ( as required) to thin it down. Your batter must be on the thicker side or all the toppings will sink into it while baking.
Put the chopped cashewnuts, dark and white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and the chopped caramel bars into a bowl and mix together. Add half of this to the batter and fold in till mixed well.

Scrape this batter into the prepared tin and lightly spread with a spatula or spoon to level it. Now sprinkle the remaining mixed nuts-chips on top evenly so that it completely covers the batter.

Bake at 180C (350F) for about 35 minutes or till a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Take the tin out of the oven and let the whole thing cool to room temperature. Then place the tin, without unmoulding the cake, in the fridge for about half an hour till it has just set.

Take the tin out, and using the overhang, pull the cake out. Peel off the foil and cut into triangles (or squares if you prefer).

According to Martha Stewart, her recipe makes 16 triangular bars. I halved her recipe and got 18 triangles (each about 2” to 2 1/2” on the sides), so I wonder just what size the original triangles would have been!

I am sending these bars to Susan who is hosting this month’s Sugar High Fridays with “Bar Cookies”.


Happy Cook said...

I can never keep up with events these dyas. The bars look so so good. When it is a american recipe i always less sugar as I think they add too much sigar into their baking.

PJ said...

That's an amazing recipe!!!I love buckwheat flour for the wonderful aroma it gives out during the cooking process.Nice to use it in baking..Rocky ledge bars look very tempting Aparna...

Nithya said...

Wow.. the bars looks so yummy.. white chocolate chips and brown ones are the tempting factor for me :)

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Wow dear, using buckwheat flour, amazing looking bars.

KALVA said...

wow these bars look amazing!!! lovely recipe

sra said...

Have seen this kuttu atta somewhere, can't recall where exactly - I associate it with 'fasting flours', for some reason, maybe I saw it placed with rajgeera and singada flour. Never knew it was buckwheat - I love the look of buckwheat, little triangular grains, have you noticed? Have never eaten it though!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I love that the bars are wedges....and they look super studded! Yum

Sanjeeta kk said...

Wow! A treat for the kids. Must try this weekend.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Looks lovely & yummy.....I very badly want to try this!!!

s said...

Aparna these look real good...am sooooo hungry now!

Deeba PAB said...

What a great way to use buckwheat A...I agree with F.Just can't keep up with events. Maybe next month will be better! I like the combination that you've put into the bars. Delicious! I find buckwheat adds to texture and nuttiness and thankfully is always well received at home here, even with the daughter!

BangaloreBaker said...

Very nice looking bars. I like the use of salted cashews in it. You take beautiful pictures Aparna.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Wow, I would definitely have to give these away, as I would eat too many! They look great - a delicious mix of nuts, chocolate, and caramel. And I love the addition of buckwheat - it's one of the gluten-free flours I reach for often!

Susan said...

Buckwheat! These are brilliant, Aparna. And so stylishly cut into triangles. I'd love to bite all the points off them first. : )

Thanks for sharing your cool recipe for SHF!

Anh said...

The bar looks so beautiful! I love the kinds of flour here! :)

Somaw said...

This is just amazing!! I have to give them a try soon, esp. for the buckwheat in them. I just realized that the kuttu ka atta that is so often used in india during fasts is same as the buckwheat flour :-) very very elegant looking bars.

M D said...

Lovely recipe Aparna. Nice to see Buckwheat being used here. Hey Aparna, do you have problems in seeking parchment papers? Incase you make a trip to Bangalore, I can probably help you here. Do let me know. :)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I love cookies like these! Clean out your pantry cookies is what I call them. Like your adaptations :)

Aparna said...

Thanks for all the comments, especially about my pictures. :)

I know Finla. Have given up on that though I would like tof ind time for my faves. :0

I do believe its a "fasting" flour, Sra. Never have seen it in Kerala or here though. Yes, the grains look pretty, though I haven't eaten them either.

Thank you, Deeba for those packets of flour. You can see I'm putting them to good use. :)

Glad I could send them in, Susan. I always bite the point off first, too. :D

Thanks, MD. Since I know I can get in B'lore, I shall definitely let you know when I come there next.

:) Avanika.