Nutty Macadamia Bars

Take a break from the cake with these cookie bars.

Lesli Sommerdorf from Harmons shares this yummy dessert.

Macadamia Bars
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup rum or orange juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole macadamia nuts (or nuts of your choice – cashews are great for this recipe too!)

To make the crust:

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your food processor, or the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the paddle. Add the butter and process (or mix) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the vanilla and water and process (or mix) until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll the dough into a 13″ x 8″ rectangle. Put the dough into a greased 15″ x 10″ jelly roll pan, then finish rolling out (a pastry roller is helpful here) to cover the bottom of the pan.

Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400°F.

After the crust has chilled, bake it for 10 minutes, until set. Remove it from the oven and cool while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

To make the filling:

Combine all the ingredients except the nuts in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes (until the mixture reaches 235°F). Stir in the nuts, cook for another 2 minutes, then pour the filling into the baked crust. Return to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

To finish:

Cut into 2″ x 1″ bars; dip the ends in melted chocolate, if desired.

*Note – This recipe can be halved and baked in an 8″ square pan, or, if you don’t have a jelly-roll pan, baked in two 8″ pans.

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