Get out your torch: Louisiana’s cookie brings the brulée with a bar cookie imitation of Bananas Foster. A pecan-paved sugar cookie crust is topped with thick cream cheese frosting, rum-soaked banana halves with a crust of caramelized sugar.
I’ve never been to Louisiana, and I know there’s a lot more than just New Orleans, but the foodie in me would just love to eat my way through New Orleans, every tourist-must have from crawdads to beignets. When I was pregnant with my son, the tracking app I used had a “French bakery” theme available for comparing size, and at one point he was supposedly the size of “two plates of beignets.” I thought, “Hmm, I could go for two plates of beignets.” Still could, at any particular moment.
I’ve eaten beignets (at brunch at a restaurant in Somerville, Massachusetts, mind you) but I’ve never had Bananas Foster. I know, what have I been doing with my life? Bananas, rum, FIRE?
I knew right away these would be some work on par with the Baked Alaska, but unlike at that time, I couldn’t cheat with the broiler; it would melt the frosting, so I had to get a torch for real. Instead of spending the dough on a fancy “brulée torch” at a kitchen store (or Amazon) I took Alton Brown’s advice and headed to the hardware store:
$16 for the torch attachment, under $3 for the propane tank. It’s not as hand-friendly as the trigger-style kind you get for culinary but I have the use of both my hands.
I needed finely chopped pecans again, so again with my little buddy, mini Cuisinart:
But oh crap, I’ve been putting pecans in my oatmeal lately, do I have enough for 3/4 cup?
Now comes the fun part:
I have the damnedest time making these even. Anyone who gets a corner piece misses out some on the crust. Sorry.
I applaud the decision to have us press the pecans into the top of the dough instead of trying to fold them into it.
I was surprised that the cream cheese frosting was only cream cheese, rum, and a ton of powdered sugar. I think maybe this is why this cookie bar is so sweet: it relies on sugar as a thickening agent, and cream cheese frosting is softer than buttercream as it is.
Turns out I didn’t have spiced rum after all! We’re not big fans of it, and we’re out of Bacardi Oakheart (Pepsi-loving husband likes it in Pepsi and I’m a big fan of anything that’s soaked in some oak) so I had to resort to this nice little bottle of gold rum we picked up from New England Sweetwater Distillery out of Winchester, NH.
The original site used a #195 piping tip, which I do not have. I think this is a 2B? The big one with a star tip where the points all touch (or almost touch) in the middle. I know, highly technical. I was going for a sort of S swirl but then I got lazy. I don’t think anyone can tell once the bananas are on it.
I was going to show the torch in action, but I wanted to two-hand it, plus the tip got red hot glowing and it kind of freaked me out, so I concentrated on my task.
No lie, this is the best bruléeing job I’ve ever done. I wish I could go back to my Classical Baking final and have a do-over. And this kept flaring up (minorly, more of a sizzle-up) because of the rum on the bananas.
Overall impressions: Leave it to Louisiana to deliver a rich cookie bar sweet enough to break your teeth. Whether that appeals to you depends on your sweet tooth. I have a decent sweet tooth but needed a full glass of milk. My Pepsi-addict husband is already requesting I bake them again soon. And unlike with the bourbon cookies last time, you can taste the rum.
I keep wondering how it would taste with custard. Maybe I should make a banana cream pie with the cookie crust, custard, the usual whipped cream topping and these bruléed bananas (I could brulée them separately if I’m worried about melting the cream, though I did not melt any of this frosting at least). Hmm…
Next time: Lemon Blueberry cream cookies from Maine! I love blueberries, my husband hates them, so more for me!