Sunday, November 22, 2009

Marshmallows, Crushed Pineapple and Cherries, Oh My?!

On a recent trip to Ontario, My mom and I went to an antiques mall and bought a vintage cookbook. In the car on the way home, I read some of the recipes aloud for fun. I love vintage cookbooks because some of the recipes, particularly those from the 50’s are horrendous. Almost all of the recipes in this book (The Beta Sigma Phi Baking Book) used marshmallows, crushed pineapple and maraschino cherries. Imagine a concoction of melted marshmallows, crushed pineapple, and maraschino cherries folded into whipped cream…it sounds quite bizarre.
But it seems I spoke too soon, the next day I was baking and Mom, told me I had given her a craving for something with pineapple and maraschino cherries in it. We did a quick search through some of her older cookbooks and found this recipe for tropical bars---a shortbread base with a sticky topping of brown sugar, coconut, pineapple and maraschino cherries.
A quick trip to the grocery store was all we needed to get the cherries, the only ingredient not already in the pantry, and we had a really retro style bar cookie in no time.
Ok so this isn’t quite as terrifying or “out there” as the marshmallow confection I described earlier but it’s still sweet, sticky, fun and retro.
And of course my other buy from the antiques mall had to make his way into the photo!
Say hello to Monsieur Ananas! I miss Telefrancais!
Les ananas n’est danser pas! But these bars are very excellent and will have you longing for the days of marshmallows and maraschino cherries.

Tropical Bars


Time: about 1 hour

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • ½ cup sifted all purpose flour
  • ½ baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup cut up maraschino cherries
  • ½ cup well-drained crushed pineapple

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 inch square cake pan.
    2. Sift 1 cup flour and ¼ teaspoon salt into bowl. Add ¼ cup brown sugar and blend lightly. Add butter and work into dry ingredients first with a fork and then with fingers until mixture is crumbly.
    3. Press firmly into into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
    4. Beat egg thoroughly. Add 1 cup brown sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Beat in rum extract.
    5. Sift ½ cup flour baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt into mixture and stir to blend. Stir in coconut, pineapple and cherries. Spread over hot pastry layer and return to oven. Bake about 35 minutes or until well-browned. Cool in pan and cut into bars.

From: Mennonite Relief Sale Cookbook: A Collection of Traditional and Family Favourites

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