Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gooey Biscoff butter cake bars


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One of my coworkers hosts an annual crawfish boil that my husband and I always look forward to. They order 300+ pounds of crawfish and fly it in from Louisiana. The crustaceans are boiled in a hollowed out keg barrel and seasoned with traditional shrimp/crawfish boil spices. Fresh red skin potatoes and corn on the cob are thrown in as well. On top of all this, my coworker brews his own beer, which he proudly tells us has been fermenting for 3 months. Want to come join us?

And every year I am faced with the same dilemma of what to bring. This year's crawfish boil fell on a day where the temperatures were over 90 degrees with high humidity. My husband suggested two of his all-time favorite desserts (cool mint dessert and chocolate caramel bars) but I thought that both of those might melt in the heat. I decided to bake something that would hold up in the blistering sun and humidity - gooey Biscoff butter cake bars.

These melt-proof bars are made up of two distinct layers - a butter cake layer which provides the base, and a gooey Biscoff layer that is screaming to be eaten on its own. I followed the directions to a T and thought that my bars were a bit overdone. The gooey layers in the corner pieces baked too much and became brittle. And the cake base was a bit on the dry side. I'd recommend baking these bars for 25 minutes and adding more time as needed. These are best when they're still a tad gooey and still slightly warm.

Gooey Biscoff butter cake bars
Butter cake layer
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Gooey Biscoff layer
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff spread
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease or line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment.

Make the butter cake layer: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in the egg, melted butter, milk and vanilla and mix until just combined. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, firmly press the mixture into the prepared baking pan.

Make the gooey Biscoff layer:  In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium to medium-high speed until it is smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs, vanilla and Biscoff and continue to beat until the ingredients are well incorporated.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time until all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. Do not over mix.

Pour the gooey batter onto the already-pressed cake layer and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake the bars for 35 – 40 minutes or until the tops appear shiny and the edges are a light golden color. The center may appear to be slightly underbaked but it will continue baking and set.

Turn off the oven and remove the bars. Let the bars cool and come to room temperature before slicing.

The bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for about one week.

Yield: About 20 generously sized squares (more if you want to cut them smaller)

Source: Butter Baking; originally adapted from Bake Your Day

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