This is a fantastic recipe from the folks at Serious Eats. Not being much of a baker, I was concerned about making the base, but it turned out to be really easy.
The base is so good, in fact, that I think one could use it for a wide variety of bars and toppings. In fact, it would make for a great dessert pizza, if one were so inclined. Or, the recipe seems perfect for rolling out the dough and cutting cookies out of it, which is something I just may tray in the near future.
These are super sweet, but the saltiness of the cashews and caramel offsets the sweetness nicely. They are a must-try. And unless someone doesn’t like cashews, they’re sure to be a hit with everyone.
The recipe is taken from Serious Eats, verbatim, in this case, because I don’t want to accidentally alter something important.
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups (about 10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (about 7 ounces) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (about 10 1/2 ounces) sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, roughly cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups salted roasted cashews
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil. Grease foil with butter. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color, about 4-5 minutes. Beat in egg, then vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time.
Place dough in prepared pan. Using either floured hands or a piece of plastic wrap, press dough evenly into the bottom of the greased baking pan. Let chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Bake crust until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove crust, but keep oven on. Let crust cool completely. While crust is cooling, make filling.
Place sugar in a nonstick saucepan over medium high heat. Let stand until bottom layer of sugar begins to melt, then start stirring, continuing to stir until sugar has turned light brown in color and smooth in texture. Pour in heavy cream, being careful of it splattering. Stir constantly until mixture is smooth again, about 5 minutes. Turn down heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and salt. Take mixture off heat and stir in cashews. Pour mixture into pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Let mixture cool for at least two hours or until set. When firm to the touch, cut into bars. Bars can be put in the refrigerator for easier cutting.