Wednesday, June 23, 2010
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
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”.