Kardea Brown bakes mini versions of a favorite cake by topping her spiced shortbread with creamy cheesecake filling, pineapple, coconut and candied pecans.
Hummingbird Bars with Candied Pecans
RECIPE COURTESY OF KARDEA BROWN
Total: 3 hr 50 min (includes cooling and chilling time)
Active: 40 min
Yield: 12 to 15 bars
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (see Cook’s Note)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Two 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
One 15.25-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and pressed dry
1 1/2 cups (thin-sliced) dried pineapple rings
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups candied pecans, coarsely chopped
For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to extend over the sides to use as handles.
Pulse the flour, powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a food processor until mixed. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly (see Cook’s Note). Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
For the filling: Beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and banana. Pour the filling over the cooled crust and top with the pineapple. Arrange the dried pineapple rings over the top and sprinkle with the coconut. Drizzle with the butter. Bake until the filling is set, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Sprinkle with the candied pecans and refrigerate until chilled.
To serve, remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper handles. Cut into bars.
Cook’s Note: We use Diamond Crystal kosher salt, which is less dense than Morton. If you use Morton, just use a little less. Depending on how humid your kitchen is, you may need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to the shortbread dough to come together.