Over the weekend, my kitchen turned into a chocolate factory as I whipped up all kinds of goodies to go in gift bags. And after taste-testing every bit of it, I was kind of sick of eating chocolate. This statement is a tab bit shocking even to myself, because I don’t ever tire of eating chocolate.

In an effort to prevent my gift recipients from going into chocolate overload, I wanted to add something else a little different to their packages. This nut filled recipe seemed like it would be a great addition to the sampler.

Oh boy. Let me tell you, I’ve eaten more than my daily allowance of nuts for 3 days straight. I seriously have to force myself to step away.

These beautiful nut bars are rich, buttery and decadent. To save my friends and family from themselves, I’m only going to include 2 in each package. Because I care. (Not because I want to eat more of them myself. No, that is not it all.)


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Rustic Nut Bars

Adapted from Epicurious. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp plus 3/4 cup cold butter, divided
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

Topping
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, cubed
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 cup hazelnuts*, toasted
1 cup roasted salted almonds
1 cup salted cashews, toasted
1 cup pistachios, toasted

Directions:

Line a 13-in x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan with foil; grease the foil with 1 Tbsp butter. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in remaining butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg until blended (mixture will be dry). Press firmly into prepared pan. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the honey, brown sugar and salt to a boil; stir until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring for 2 minutes. Add butter and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in the nuts. Spread over crust.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until topping is bubbly. Cool completely on a wire rack. Using foil, lift bars out of pan. Discard foil; cut into squares.

Note: Nut bars keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

*I couldn't find hazelnuts at the store on the day I was shopping, so I just used peanuts since I had some in the house. You could also sub macadamia nuts or pecans for an even richer taste.

Hazelnuts on Foodista

One Response to “Rustic Nut Bars”

  1. 1

    Melissa — January 14, 2010 @ 1:54 am

    I found your blog link from the Foodista Hazelnut page. I'm currently looking for appetizers for a party I am hosting for my husband's birthday next week- this looks like a keeper!

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