These Hiker Bars – For Easter are my version of a recipe I saw on Hobbs House Bakery. It seems the Fabulous Baker Brothers used to take them on their hikes. It looked like a very appetising recipe. But I was really searching for something that would be good for Easter.
I already have the traditional Hot Cross Buns on my blog, with a variation too. In the stores these days there are lots of flavour variation for Hot Cross Buns. But I really only enjoy the traditional ones. So I wondered whether I could incorporate some of that flavour into some hiker bars. I wanted something that would be chewy in texture, rather like a cross between a cake bar and a cookie.
I hoped to create bars that would be ideal to take on a nice walk, or hike, on a nice Spring day around Easter time.
The original recipe already included dried fruits familiar in Hot Cross Buns. But I thought that could be enhanced by using some orange zest, since the buns would contain mixed peel. The buns also have some mixed spice in them, so that needed to go into my recipe too. But I didn’t want the spice to overpower the bars.
I also varied the original version in a couple of other respects too. Firstly I used a 9 inch(23cm) square pan, instead of the suggested 8×11 inch(20x28cm) one. That was mainly as the 9 inch pans are more common. Secondly I adjusted the baking time. The original recipe suggested a total of 25 minutes. For my version I baked for 35 minutes, to ensure fully cooked bars.
I baked my bars for 35 minutes in total. That was broken into 3 stages of 15, 15 and 5 minutes. After each stages I pressed down the edges a little to level the bars. Though, in truth, that was not entirely necessary.
I allowed the bars to cool in the pan and then placed them on a wire rack for another hour before cutting into the bars. That was to ensure I would have firm bars. That was because needed to be sturdy enough to be packed for a walk or hike.
My bars were simply perfect. They held together very well. The taste was great and so reminiscent of Hot Cross Buns in flavour. The texture was wonderful too, dense and chewy. These bars certainly make a very hearty snack to replenish energy during a walk.
Another Easter recipe is Hot Cross Scones.
Hiker Bars – For EasterCourse: Biscuits, Cookies, Cakes, Easter BakingCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
180g(10 tbsp + 2 tsp) softened unsalted butter
270g(1 1/4 cups + 4 tsp) demerara sugar(raw cane sugar), or similar
180g(1 cup + 3 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
2 medium eggs(large in USA)
180g(1 1/2 cups) currants
180g(1 1/2 cups(sultanas)
finely grated zest from one orange
2g(1/2 tsp) mixed spice
50g(1/4 cup) caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Grease and line a 9 inch (23cm) square cake pan.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and demerara sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, with the zest and mix until fully combined.
- Mix the spice into the flour and add that into the mixture, stirring until combined.
- Add the sultanas and currants and mix again until distributed all through the thick batter.
- Spoon the batter into the cake pan and spread across the base, ensuring it is level on the top.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, you can do this in stages, checking after 15 minutes, and pressing down the edges if they have risen. Check again later and do the same if necessary.
- Remove the baked bars from the oven and sprinkle over as much caster sugar as you wish, after gently pressing the top to ensure it is level.
- Leave the bars in the pan to cool then transfer to a wire rack and leave for another hour before slicing into 8(or more) portions.