I’m ashamed to admit that I’m really not a huge fan of pie. I love making it; the process of folding the dough just perfectly to get flaky layers, decorating the crust, and having dessert ready to go in advance are all wonderful aspects of pie.
However, when it comes to eating it, it’s just not my thing. After a big Thanksgiving meal, I usually want just a little something, and these Banoffee Pie bars will definitely be on my menu this year. Calling them light would be a complete lie, but the beauty of this recipe is you can cut the bars into very small servings so everyone can cap off their evening with something sweet. Plus, you can make them in advance, and by making a stabilized whipped cream, you don’t have to worry about anything breaking or getting soggy. Stabilized whipped cream sounds fancy, but it just involves using a very small amount of gelatin to keep it from going nasty in the fridge. Think of it as cool-whip, but better.
If you can find classic Digestive biscuits, use those in the crust instead of grahams, you’ll just need to swap the weight of the grahams (180g) for biscuits.
Banoffee Pie Bars
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 12 honey graham cracker sheets, broken in half
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 (13.4 ounce) can Dulce de Leche
- 3 ripe bananas (yellow, not brown), sliced
- 1/4 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes
- chocolate shavings, optional, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Place butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Once butter has melted, it will begin to foam. Move the pan around a bit to keep it from burning, and cook until foaming stops and brown bits form on the bottom of the pan. It should smell nutty. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Add graham crackers to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add sugar, salt and brown butter and pulse until a wet sand consistency forms, that resembles brown sugar. Pour the graham crust into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer using the back of a metal measuring cup.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature, or place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
While the crust cools, make the stabilized whipped cream. Place gelatin in a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon of cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until the gelatin blooms (i.e. firms up). Once the gelatin blooms, place cream, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla bean paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip at medium speed until soft peaks form.
Turn off the machine, then heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds, or until it is liquid again. Turn the machine back on and stream in the liquid gelatin mixture, mixing until medium-stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge.
Once the crust has cooled, place the Dulce de Leche in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or until you can spread it easily. Place the Dulce de Leche on the cooled crust and spread into an even layer using a small offset spatula. Top with an even layer of sliced bananas, then spread prepared whipped cream on top, doing your best to make the whipped cream layer smooth.
Garnish with toasted coconut and shaved chocolate (is using) and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours) before cutting and serving.
I’ve had the bourbon shortbread cookies and they taste like a true “Old Fashion”.
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