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Deluxe Honey Nut Bars

April 22, 2011

Honey Nut Bars

Deluxe Honey Nut Bars

This recipe is like trail mix (minus the fruit) on a bed of nutty shortbread.  If you love a sweet and salty combination you’ll love this recipe.  I love this snack.  I have myself convinced that in a small portion it is healthy because of all the fabulous nuts.  In reality the sugar really off sets my theory but you are not here to tell me any different, so healthy it is!  These bars or squares keep very well for about a week.  I would suggest storing them in the refrigerator or freezer if you would like to keep them longer than that.  Simply bring them to room temperature before serving, otherwise you may run the risk of breaking a tooth on either the nuts or the sugar coating, just a friendly reminder 🙂

Ingredients

For the Crust:

1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Topping:

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter

1/3 cup  honey

1/2 teaspoon table salt

2 tablespoon whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups whole salted mixed nuts, toasted

To prepare the crust

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray. Be sure to leave a a bit of foil extending on the shorter sides of the pan, the foil will act as “handles” when you remove the finished bars from the pan.

 In a food processor, finely grind the almonds and sugar.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder, and stir to combine. Add the almond and sugar mixture to the flour and stir.   Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it’s the size of small peas.   Add the egg and stir just until the dough begins to gather into large clumps.

Using your fingertips, press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and about 1 inch up the sides to form a 1/4-inch-thick side crust. Using the tines of a fork, make holes all over the crust evenly.

Bake until light golden brown on the edges and the center looks dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the crust on a rack.

To Make the topping:

In a medium pot bring the sugar, butter, and honey to a boil, stirring often.  When the sugar has dissolved add the cream in a steady stream slowly and return to a boil. Remove the pot from the  heat and carefully add the vanilla and nuts, stirring to coat.

Pour the nut mixture over the crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Tilt the pan to help spread the liquid to the edges and corners. Bake until the topping has just started to bubble slowly in the center, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  Remove the bars from the pan using the “handles” and place on a cutting board to cut into squares.  Remove the tinfoil prior to cutting into squares.

Store in an air tight container.

Makes 16 squares

From Fine Cooking

Honey Nut Bars

Deluxe Honey Nut Bars

I love these squares they are different and delicious.  Definitely worth a try if you love nuts.  As I mentioned above they store well in the freezer so you could always make them and pull them out as need be.  They are great for an afternoon hike as they are loaded with all sorts of healthy nuts and calories from the butter and sugar.

From our kitchen to yours,

Sydney Jones

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