Try nutmeg nut bars for a holiday treat

  • By Alison Ladman Associated Press
  • Monday, December 10, 2012 10:29pm
  • Life

These honey-glazed bars are crumbly, richly sweet and incredibly nutty.

The combination — thanks in particular to the floral notes added by freshly grated nutmeg — is a bit like baklava, only transformed into a more substantial bar-style cookie.

If you want to go crazy, toss some walnuts and pecans in there, too.

Nutmeg nut bars

For the crust:

1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2cup packed brown sugar

1teaspoon vanilla extract

1egg

1 1/2cups all-purpose flour

For the topping:

1cup pine nuts, toasted

1cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

1cup chopped pistachios, toasted

1cup packed brown sugar

1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4teaspoon salt

1teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2cup honey

1teaspoon rosewater (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper.

To make the crust, in a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add the egg and beat until smooth and well combined. Stir in the flour. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan in an even layer. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, to prepare the topping, in a medium bowl mix together the pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, brown sugar, butter, salt and nutmeg.

When the crust is baked, spread the nut mixture evenly over the top. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 13 to 15 minutes, or until the topping is browned and set up.

While the bars bake, in a small bowl stir together the honey and rosewater, if using. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, drizzle the honey mixture evenly over the top. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Once the bars are cool, run a sharp knife around the edge, then flip out onto a cutting board. Remove the parchment paper and cut into 24 bars.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Makes 24 bars. Per bar: 270 calories; 150 calories from fat (56 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 20 g sugar; 4 g protein; 30 mg sodium.

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