Carrot Cake Bars
If you love carrot cake but don't want to bake and frost multiple layers, these simplified Carrot Cake Bars are just what you're looking for. Crushed pineapple and shredded carrots add sweetness and moisture, ground cardamom and vanilla extract make the cake smell heavenly, and toasted walnuts add a nice crunch to offset the tender cake. And of course, a classic cream cheese frosting makes the perfect finishing touch, along with a sprinkling of toasted coconut chips. (We like Dang brand, which is sold at many supermarkets.) The bars are made in a 13- by 9-inch baking pan and a texture that's moist yet firm enough to be sliced into neat squares, making them a great choice to bring to a gathering. The bars and frosting can be made up to a day ahead. Cover them and store them separately in the refrigerator. Let the frosting come to room temperature before spreading it over the bars.