Chewy Old-Fashioned Nut Bars

Feb 2019

Sinkology is proud to present Emily Schuermann, our food-loving guest blogger who runs Food for a Year. Emily is here to share some recipes she has created exclusively for the Sinkology blog that reflect her view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic.

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Time for a retro recipe! These chewy old-fashioned nut bars are a classic dessert bar you’d easily find at any potluck in the 1950’s. Well-loved for its buttery crust and chewy, salty-sweet nutty filling — these are sure to please every single craving you have.

Why, over the decades, did this recipe loose its prominence at our dessert tables – I have no idea. But I know why it didn’t! Not only is this delicious, it’s fully homemade AND crazy easy to make.

So let’s talk about it!

The 4-ingredient cookie bar crust comes together in minutes and can be a base for all your favorite bar desserts, from lemon bars to PB&J bars.

  • softened butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • flour

Combine these ingredients using the paddle attachment of a stand-mixer until a soft ball is formed. Then press the dough into a glass baking dish (lined with parchment paper) and bake for 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center looks dry.

Allow the crust to cool slightly while making the nutty filling.

Start off by combining the quick salted caramel sauce filling.

  • light brown sugar
  • butter
  • pure maple sirup (or honey)
  • corn syrup (optional for texture)
  • sea salt
  • heavy cream
  • pure vanilla extract
  • whole salted mixed nuts, toasted

Bring the maple sirup, sugar, butter and corn syrup to boil over a medium-high flame for 1 minute, stirring often. Then turn the flame off, slowly add cream, stir and return to a boil. Once boiling, remove the caramel from the heat and stir in vanilla and mixed salted nuts, stirring to coat.

Pour the nut filling into the cooled crust, spreading evenly, and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the center is bubbly.

Allow the bars to cool for 10 minutes before lifting out by the edges to the parchment paper and resting on a cooling rack until cooled completely (30 minutes).

Once cooled, using a sharp knife, cut into 16 bars and serve. See! Homemade can be so simple!!

And that first chewy bite of caramel covered salted nuts and buttery crust will remind you just how amazing this dessert is.

I wonder how many other awesome vintage desserts are just waiting to be re-discovered?! If you need me, I’ll be flipping through the pages of my grandma’s 1969, first edition Betty Crocker cookbook… bringing old school back one recipe at a time!

Old-Fashioned Chewy Nut Bars

crust:

  • 2 sticks softened butter (salted)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups flour

filling:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packedP
  • 6 tablespoons butter (salted)
  • ½ cup pure maple sirup (or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup (optional for texture)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups whole salted mixed nuts, toasted

instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine crust ingredients using the paddle attachment of a stand-mixer until a soft ball is formed. Then press the dough into a 8½” x 11″ glass baking dish and about 1″ up the sides (lined with parchment paper – leaving an inch overhanging each side).

Bake for 20 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center looks dry.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.

Allow the crust to cool while beginning to make the nut filling.

In a medium saucepan, bring the maple sirup, sugar, butter and corn syrup to boil over a medium-high flame for 1 minute, stirring often. Then turn the flame off, slowly add cream and then return to a boil. Once boiling, remove the caramel from the heat and stir in vanilla and mixed salted nuts, stirring to coat.

Pour the nut filling into the cooled crust, spreading evenly, and bake for approximately 20 minutes (at 350°) or until the center is bubbly.

Allow the bars to cool for 10 minutes before lifting out by the edges to the parchment paper and resting on a cooling rack until cooled completely (30 minutes). Using a sharp knife, cut into 15-20 squares and serve.

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