Gold Rush BarsDried apricots, figs and dates make these Gold Rush Bars a suitable replacement for the oft-maligned fruit cake. Photography courtesy WMMB.




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December 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cookies

Christmas Cookie Recipes

Page 3: Bananas Foster Bars And Gold Rush Bars


This is Page 3 of a 4-page article. Click the black links below to view the other recipes.



Bananas Foster Bars

Bananas Foster is a dessert that’s synonymous with New Orleans—the place where it was created. This recipe takes all those great flavors—the rum, the bananas and, of course, the butter—and transforms them into a bar cookie that’s sure to make any dessert plate a hit. Recipe yields 16 2-inch bars.

Bar Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum or 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bananas, diced
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped
Bananas Foster Bars

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rum or pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  1. For the bars, preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour 9-inch square pan, or for a thicker bar, use an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and rum; mix to combine.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to butter mixture. Mix in bananas and pecans; stir to incorporate.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the frosting, in large bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, sugar and extract with an electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar; blend until smooth (careful; over-mixing will cause separation). Add additional confectioners’ sugar to create desired consistency.
  6. Spread frosting immediately over cooled bars. Cover and store bars in refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, cut bars into 2-inch squares.


Gold Rush Bars

When early settlers came to California, they found more than just gold. They found soil and a climate suited for growing figs, dates and apricots. These regional ingredients shine in all of their glory in this buttery and ever-so-slightly chewy cookie bar.


  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sweet white dessert wine, such as Muscat or Late Harvest Riesling
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried dates, chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts, chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional
Gold Rush Bars


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line 13x9x2-inch pan with foil; butter bottom of foil. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In small saucepan, heat wine over medium heat until bubbles begin to form at edge. Add apricots, figs and dates; stir and return to a boil. Cover pan, turn off heat and allow to steep 30 minutes until liquid is absorbed; cool.
  4. Cream together butter and sugars using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then extracts; mix until combined. Gradually add flour mixture; stir well.
  5. Spread half of batter over bottom of prepared pan using a buttered, metal spatula. Spread cooled fruit evenly over dough. Drop spoonfuls of remaining batter over fruit layer and gently spread to cover. Sprinkle walnuts over top.
  6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and center is set. Cool pan on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Lift foil to remove bars from pan; cut into diamond shapes. Store bars in airtight container for up to 1 week.


Continue To Page 4: Chocolate Butter Pecans And Mount Rainier Macaroons

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