Anushka has been attending playschool for the last three months and the best part was that it required parent participation. Now that its closed for summer, I can't decide which one of us misses it more. The crafts, songs, playtime, new friends...it was awesome going back to school. The last week of school was most exciting, as there were three potlucks, meaning a chance to try three new recipes!! I love a potluck and am most comfortable taking along something sweet. Made brownie bites, brownies and these carrot halwa blondie bars.
This is Nivedita's winning recipe in the Indian category on Cooking Channel's Perfect 3 program and it was such a deserved win!! These bars are fabulous and you'll be so surprised with the first bite, because they do taste just like the halwa. Manoj and I couldn't stop taking bites and I had to actually hide them so I would have enough for the potluck. They were a big hit, even with those not familiar with carrot halwa. Made a second batch for Manoj's friends last week and received a ton of compliments, all thanks to Niv!
Carrot Halwa Blondie Bars
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsps double acting baking powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
8 cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely crushed
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
5 tbs sugar
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup whole milk
8 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease and line a 9"x13" pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg powder and the crushed cardamom seeds in a big bowl until well combined.
Combine the carrots, raisins, sugar and the condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl. Rinse out the can of condensed milk with the whole milk and add to the bowl. Mix well. Microwave on high for about 5-8 minutes until the carrots lose their raw texture and taste. Stir in the melted butter.
Pour this mixture into the center of the flour mixture and fold gently just until combined. Do not overmix.
Spread the mixture on the baking pan and sprinkle the sliced almonds on top.
Bake until the top is golden, about 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack completely before cutting and serving.
Keep at room temperature in an airtight container for upto 2 days or freeze for upto a month.