Monday, February 03, 2014

Nutty Bars

A day off work means free time to play in the kitchen! But first, I spent a few moments thumbing through a copy of Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery before deciding on the Pecan Bars.

We had about half a pound of pecan pieces in the freezer, but I opted to use half walnuts because they're less-expensive. I also didn't feel like opening the bag of light brown sugar when there was just enough dark brown sugar left to fit the bill. And...the original recipe called for rum. Mr Minx isn't the biggest rum fan in the world, so I used bourbon instead. The results were crunchy, sticky, nutty, and quite fabulous.

Make them. Now. Unless of course you have nut allergies.

Nut Bars adapted from Fat Witch Brownies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 9" x 9" baking pan.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Add the 7 tablespoons of butter, a few small pieces at a time, and combine until mixture is sandy. Stir in the nuts. Gently press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

While crust is baking, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and allow to cool. Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, bourbon, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the cooled butter. Add the egg and mix well.

Pour the filling over the baked crust. Evenly sprinkle the nuts on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the filling no longer wobbles when you shake the pan gently.

Allow to cool completely before cutting, about 2 hours.

Makes 12 - 16 bars.

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