It's tradition for my family to make these German treats together. The recipe came from my great-grandmother's cookbook, and judging from the amount of requests I get, it has certainly stood the test of time. —Esther Kempker, Jefferson City, Missouri
1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice, cardamom and cloves
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup candied lemon peel
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup candied orange peel
3 tablespoons candied pineapple
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 15x10x1-in. baking pan with parchment.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses, buttermilk and extract. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, cardamom and cloves; gradually add to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in walnuts.
Place raisins, dates, lemon peel, coconut, orange peel and pineapple in a food processor; pulse until chopped. Stir into batter; press into prepared pan. Bake 25-28 minutes or until lightly browned.
For glaze, in a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in confectioners' sugar. Spread over warm bars. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.