I also made cranberry pistachio biscotti (recipe soon!) and these wonderful Honey Nut Bars.
This was my first time making these. I like to try different things each Christmas and these were on my list to try. They were really good. Sweet, salty, crunchy and tasty! They are a nice change from the super sweet squares and if you like nuts, you will love these. I think they’d also be nice with a little drizzle of chocolate on top, if you feel so inclined :)
Honey Nut Bars
Summary: These are the bars for nut lovers. They are sweet, salty and crunchy and a nice change for the super sweet bars.
- For the Crust:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 11-1/4 oz. (2-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 6 oz. (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- For the Topping:
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 oz. (6 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup clover honey
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 2 Tbs. heavy cream
- 3 cups whole unsalted mixed nuts, toasted
- Make the crust: With rack in the centre of the oven, pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment.
- Toast the almonds in pre-heated oven on a baking sheet or in the microwave. To microwave, place nuts on microwave-proof dish. Heat on high for 1 minute. Stir well. Heat for another 45-60 seconds on high, or until fragrant.
- In a food processor, finely grind the almonds and sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until it’s the size of small peas, 5 or 6 one-second pulses. Add the egg and pulse just until the dough begins to gather into large clumps.
- With your fingertips, press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan, to form a 1/4-inch-thick side crust. Using the tines of a fork, prick the crust evenly all over.
- Bake until light golden brown on the edges and the centre looks dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the crust on a rack.
- Make the topping: Bring the sugar, butter, honey, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Slowly add the cream and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and carefully add the toasted nuts, stirring well to coat all the nuts. Pour the nut mixture over the crust and spread evenly. 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 centre, about 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the crust from the sides. Let the bars cool completely in the pan.
- Invert the pan onto a flat surface and peel off the parchment. Re-invert onto a cutting board and cut into 16 bars with a sharp knife.
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 50 min
Number of servings (yield): 16 bars
Adapted from a Fine Cooking October 2008 recipe