So I took a stab at it and entered the State Fair cookie bar competition. It had to be an “original” recipe so I concocted these. I didn’t bring home a ribbon but I wanted to share the recipe. They’re pretty taste and well worth it, I think. And you’re reading that right: 2 whole cups of corn starch.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups corn starch
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 lb. plus ½ cup butter, softened
1 orange zested
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup dark rum
1/2 cup whole shelled pecans
1/2 cup miniature marshmallow
To prepare cookie bottom:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Slice butter into tablespoon pieces and add to bowl.
Combine by smashing butter and incorporating it into the dry ingredients. It will not form a ball of dough, but instead of will have crumble texture.
Using a small rolling pin evenly spread a thin layer, no more than a centimeter thick, of the dough on the bottom of a greased 9X13 inch pan. Retain extra dough for topping.
Poke holes in the dough with a fork to allow ventilation while baking, about 2 centimeters apart covering the whole dough. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. While still warm, lightly sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over cookies.
To prepare filling:
Increase the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees after removing the cookie base. Cut bananas into quarters by slicing in half and the splitting long ways.
In a larger skillet melt 1/2 cup, or 1 stick, of butter over low heat. Add brown sugar and stir to create a thick syrup that has a paste consistency. Increase to medium high heat.
Add bananas to the pan laying the quarters in the mixture with the flat side down.
Stir the bananas and mixture gently to coat all of the banana pieces. Unlike traditional bananas foster, it is okay if the bananas break into pieces while stirring. Sprinkle cinnamon over the mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
Add 1 cup of rum. Let simmer to heat the rum. Flambéing is optional. Use a kitchen lighter or tip the pan to ignite the rum. Let mixture simmer until the rum is reduced and the mixture is a thick consistency, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
To prepare cookies:
Spread bananas evenly on top of the prepared cookie bottom in the 9×13 inch pan. Use bottom of spoon to smash larger pieces
Spread whole pecans with the flat side down across the cookie filling, pressing them slightly into the mixture and only placing them close enough together to ensure a pecan in every bar. Place marshmallows on top in the same fashion, setting them in the spaces between pecans.
Sprinkle remaining cookie dough on top as a crumble.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cookie topping is a light brown and marshmallows are light toasted or melted.
Let sit or refrigerate until completely cooled. Using a knife score the cookies and remove as bars. Best served chilled.