The actual recipe is for ‘Classic Pecan Bars’ from Lauren Chattman’s book, ‘Cookie Swap’ – but alas, the bag of nuts in my freezer thought to be pecans, were really almonds…and these bars were so tasty, I figure any old nut would do. I will consider a ‘nut mix’ next time, and these reminded me of Christmas so they’re getting that label as well – enjoy!
Classic Nut Bars
2 c. flour
2/3 c. icing sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
2 t. salt
14 T. butter – cold and cubed (this is 1 cup, less 2 T.)
1/2 c. butter, melted and cooled
1 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. corn syrup
1 T. vanilla
1 t. salt
4 c. nuts (pecans or almonds), coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 9 x 13 cake pan with heavy foil – DO this – and your squares will survive being dished up. Make sure the foil is carefully tucked into all corners, and there’s some overhang at each end – I think a metal cake pan works best.
Place all crust ingredients except the butter into the bowl of your electric mixer and give them a little stir, and then add in the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture begins to clump and come together. Scrape the crust mix into the bottom of your lined pan and press it in evenly with the bottom of a cup, then put the whole pan into the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes until just golden, then remove the pan from the oven and reduce the heat to 325.
For the filling, whisk everything but the nuts together in a large bowl, then stir in nuts. Pour the filling over the hot crust and return it to the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the center is just set – you can tell by giving the pan a small wiggle, the middle shouldn’t move…but watch carefully, burning these would be a tragedy!
Transfer the pan to wire rack and allow the bars to cool completely. To remove them from the pan, grasp the foil at both ends and remove the whole thing to a cutting board. Cut as you wish, and if there’s any left over they freeze really well.