My Recipe Box

Honey-Nut Bars

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Yields 16 bar cookies.

  • To learn more, read:
    Smart Cookies
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 96

Some flavor combinations bring out the best in one other:  maple and walnut, lemon and ginger, apples and honey, blueberry and lime, chocolate and just about anything. Honey and nuts are one of those perfect flavor marriages. Add some light brown sugar, and you've got a sweet, salty, crunchy bar that could potentially become your new go-to cookie.   

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
Tip:
For the best results, measure your flour by weight instead of volume. (1 cup of all-purpose flour equals 4-1/2 oz.) If you don’t have a scale, be sure to use the proper technique when filling your measuring cups.
For the Topping:
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) 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:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment.

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 to 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 to form a 1/4-inch-thick side crust. Using the tines of a fork, dock the crust evenly all over.

Bake until light golden brown on the edges and the center 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 and carefully add the cream and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and carefully add the 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. 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.

Invert the pan onto a flat surface and peel off the parchment. Reinvert onto a cutting board and cut into 16 bars with a sharp knife.

The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per bar; Calories (kcal): 460; Fat (g): fat g 30; Fat Calories (kcal): 260; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 11; Protein (g): protein g 8; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 45; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 170; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 50; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

These were super easy to make, beautiful to look at and taste fantastic. I am not a huge sweets fan and I did not find these too sweet at all. I used salted nuts (3 cups was perfect amount) and the bars were not salty at all. Perfect recipe imo. I did cut them into 24 bars which seemed more the size of the bars in the picture.

great product! i used 2% milk (as i never have cream on hand for such small quantities - so i saved some calories and fat grams!!) and used raw cashews, hazelnuts and almonds. i think you'd need a little more than 3cups worth. next time, i would bake the cookie crust a little longer to help prolong the crisp of the cookie after the caramel sets in.

Ultra sweet (too sweet for some) with complex flavors and textures--and so easy to make! I bought unsalted mixed nuts in bulk, and they came with a lot of papery debris. To remove it, I put the nuts in a colander and gently shook them. After completely cooling the bars, I found that I had to run a knife around the edge a second time to free them from the pan. These freeze well. I double wrapped individual bars in plastic wrap, then put them all in a freezer bag to take out and defrost just one or two at a time.

First time I written a reiview of anything --that is how good these cookies are. Excellent!

Excellent.

These are fabulous! Use a premium nut mix and be careful not to under cook the caramel. Don't rush to cut them. Let them sit in the pan overnight (or several hours, until completely cool and set up) before cutting. The crumbs and broken pieces are great as an ice cream topping.

These were very easy to make and a big hit. These were one of 3 recipes I made for a charity bake sale at the office and were the first to sell out. A great, wholesome, nutty treat that looks exactly like the picture, packs well and was loved by all. Would be great for gift giving and a nice departure from the same 'ol, same 'ol.

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