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Friday
Nov192010

Happy Hour: The Breckenridge Bar Cookie

Say hello to my new favorite thing in the world: the Breckenridge Bar Cookie.

My fortuitous meeting with La Breckenridge took place at Half Price Books, where I stumbled on a slim volume entitled Creme De Colorado Cookbook. This book piqued my interest for two reasons: first, I have a rather keen and slightly obsessive interest in regional cuisine, and second, I've never been to Colorado, so I was very interested in the foods that might constitute the creme de Colorado.

Flipping to the dessert section, I found the Breckenridge Bar right away. I already knew that Breckenridge must be a delicious place based on Rainy Day Gal's guest post on the fair city, but this bar looked like an exceptional specimen of sweethood: comprised of rich layers of chocolate cake, coconut and condensed milk, and chocolate topping. Unfortunately, the cookbook didn't offer any story behind the bar's history or development, so I can only imagine that it is called the Breckenridge Bar because people are eating them all day, every day, there.

Of course, upon reviewing the original recipe it seemed a little low-fat for my taste, so I made it slightly awesomer by adding brown sugar crumb topping and toasty almonds on top, making for a final result which fell, taste-wise, somewhere between brownie, Almond Joy, and crumb cake. A delicious adaptation, if I do say so myself.

Breckenridge Bars

Adapted from the Creme De Colorado Cookbook

Makes 24-30 bite-sized bars

Ingredients for base

 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Ingredients for middle layer

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened)

For the topping 

  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crumb topping, if you want it (you do!), adapted from Arthur Schwartz

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • A handful of sliced almonds or nuts, if desired

 Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa and flour, mixing until incorporated. Add nuts, if adding.
  3. Spread into a floured and buttered pan (original recipe called for 9x13-inches; I didn't have one handy so used an 8x8-inch pan).
  4. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. While baking, mix the condensed milk and coconut; add this to the top of the baked bottom crust and bake for 18-20 more minutes at 350.
  5. Immediately after removing from oven, add chocolate topping, and then the crumb topping on top of that. Turn off the heat, then put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes to heat in the residual heat. Once lightly but not completely cooled, cut into squares. (Note: The original recipe simply called for the bars to be removed from the oven and frosted while still warm and that was it--but I think because mine were thicker in the smaller pan, the extra baking time helped them set up better).
  6. Let cool completely (I put mine in the fridge to set for several hours) before serving.

To prepare frosting:

In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients until well mixed.

To prepare crumb topping:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low flame. Remove from the heat and cool for about 5 minutes, but do not allow the butter to become cold.
  2. Add the flour, brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir with a table fork until the mixture forms small crumbs. 

References (1)

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  • Response
    Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life - CakeSpy - Happy Hour: The Breckenridge Bar Cookie

Reader Comments (3)

Colorado native here...good cookbook it is a Junior League cookbook....there are others out there too!! I think 4 in total :)
November 20 | Unregistered CommenterJill Leczo
The amount of cinnamon is missing from the crumb topping recipe. THe amount missing is
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.
November 24 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Kanno
Thank you Jenny! I will update the recipe.
November 24 | Registered CommenterCakespy

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