This is a delicious low-fat fruit and nut bar recipe. However, it is definitely not bland in taste! It does not contain any oil or butter, but tastes moist, rich, and has full bodied flavor. It is good iced or not. It is a versatile recipe where you can add other nuts and fruits and easily make it to suit your family's taste. This recipe makes a good gift. Cut it into bars and place on a Christmas plate, cover with saran wrap and tie with a bow. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from an old cookbook. The photos are my own.
1In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt, and add the fruits and nuts. Mix gently to combine.
2In a medium mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients: mashed bananas, pears, egg whites and molasses, beat with a hand mixer until smooth.
3Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
The batter should look like this. It will be thick. Use a 9 X 12 X 2 inch pyrex baking dish. Spray it with butter flavored Pam kitchen spray. Pour the batter evenly in the baking dish.
4Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if it is done. It will look like this photo.
5Remove from the oven and place on a rack and cover with a sheet of wax paper.
6Rum Icing Recipe: Bring the butter and cream cheese to room temperature while waiting for the cake to cool. With an electric mixer and a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, rum extract and the butter until well mixed, and then add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. If it is too thick, add a half teaspoon of water and mix well. Spoon the mixture into a small plastic ziplock bag, close it and get the air out, and then snip the corner of the bag.
7Pour the icing on the cake and frost.
8This cake can be served with or without icing. We like ours warm with the rum icing on it. The rum icing melts slightly, like the icing on sweet rolls, or if you prefer, cool completely for a firmer icing. This is what it looks like iced.
9Cut into bars and serve with a nice glass of cold milk. This recipe is a good gift for friends and family, accompanied by the recipe.
10This is a closeup of the fruit nut bars. Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid.