Last week I heard a recipe contest being held by Nuts.com asking people to create a snack using at least four of their products. Since it gave me a chance to take a break from working on my cookbook, (Our Family Table: Lessons and Recipes from a Life Abroad, due out October 2016) I thought “Why not?”
Then I got the list of ingredients from which I needed to use and I thought “This is completely nuts!“.
I do a lot of baking at our Asheville Inn, the Carolina Bed & Breakfast. In addition to the muffins, cookies and breads which are standard fare in the B&B industry, we like to put a small treat in our guests’ rooms while they are out at dinner. These range from mini-cupcakes to tiny tarts to small bar cookies and more. So I decided to do a take on a pecan pie bar using lots of different nuts and a light batter to bind it instead of the traditional brown sugar and dark syrup and spice combination. I chose some of the more elegant nuts on the list for this and took a step outside of the box in adding Green Tea Matcha Powder to the base layer. And finally, as a bonus item, I used almond flour to replace the flour I use in the batter. Then I took a leap of faith and put in our guests’ rooms.
Homerun! The plates came back empty and a couple of people asked me about them before they left today. In my book, that’s success!
COMPLETELY NUTS BAR
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease or line an 8X8 baking pan
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp Green Tea Matcha Powder
2 cups flour
Place butter, sugar, green tea powder and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse together until it looks like green sand. Pour into the prepared pan, using your hands to pat it evenly into place, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until starting to brown around the edges.
While the base is cooking, prepare the filling.
1/4 unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp Almond Flour
2/3 cup Pistachio Nuts, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup Hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup Macadamia Nuts, coarsely chopped
Place the melted butter together with the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and blend together until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add the salt, vanilla, lemon juice and milk
and mix until smooth. Add the nuts and almond flour and stir together. Pour over the pre-cooked base and cook for 30-35 minutes until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 16 bars.