Well, beltenebra came to visit me this weekend, and we decided that Zimbits sounded like a cookie. A delicious cookie that had peach and ginger for Bitty and maple for Jack. AND THEN WE MADE IT HAPPEN.
Zimbits (Peach Ginger Shortbread Bar Cookies with Maple Buttercream Frosting)
Sidenote: we debated a version where you soak the peaches with bourbon and call it "Faber After Dark."
credits: We got the original peach shortbread recipe from Smitten Kitchen before we modified it a little, and then googled a generic buttercream icing recipe to add the maple syrup.
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used dark)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (it's a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves McCormick sells)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 Tbl) browned butter (see below)
1 large egg
2 peaches, pitted and sliced (mine were frozen from summer so it was more like goo)
2 sticks (8 Tbl) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Browning butter (From Smitten Kitchen): Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns and the very second that you turn around to do something else. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9×13 inch pan.
2. Slice peaches and mix with a couple extra shakes of the pie spices. Since mine had thawed from the freezer we had to strain a of liquid out here. You could probably add a little extra maple syrup here if you wanted.
3. Combine brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, flour, salt, and pie spice. Scrape in the solidified brown butter and add the egg; SK recommended using a fork or your fingers instead of the stand mixer so that it turns crumbly.
4. Put most of this in the bottom of the greased pan, but leave enough out that you can sprinkle another thin layer over the top of the fruit (we saved about 1/4 but I could have gone for more fruit less crumble on top). Press the bottom layer down firmly with your fingers.
5. Layer the peaches on top of the shortbread base, or, in my case, spread the goo around. Put the rest of the crumb over top.
6. Bake for ~30 minutes, until the edges are turning brown and everything is set. Ours was done at 27 minutes, so check it early. Let cool most of the way before icing.
While bars are baking, make the buttercream maple icing. We did use the stand mixer for this step.
7. Cream butter and powdered sugar until blended.
8. Add vanilla, maple syrup, salt. Use the whisk attachment at decently high speed until it looks like icing. We had trouble getting it to smooth out, so Amy melted a cup's worth of the mixture in the microwave, then tossed it back in with the rest, and then everything was fine. We let ours sit at room temperature, but if you wanted stiffer frosting you could put it in the fridge a bit.
9. Once the bars are cooled, spread the frosting on top. Enjoy your Zimbits! Here they are again because they were so worth it:
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