My record for most food consumed in the span of 48 hours took place when I was in college (thanks metabolism!) I took a road trip to Austin to visit a friend. I learned a lot of valuable lessons that weekend, the main lesson being to plan ahead. Buy concert tickets. Buy movie tickets. Buy them all ahead of time, otherwise you’ll end up wandering around a city with nothing to do and everything to eat. Austin is home to some of my favorite restaurants in the country. All those valuable lessons that I learned paired nicely with bacon-wrapped, deep-fried hot dogs, carrot cake French toast, messy BBQ platters, and chocolate olive oil ice cream. That day in 2013 is when the term “food baby” was coined, I’m fairly certain.
Whenever I visited my friend in Austin, I always made sure to bring her something sweet (other than me, of course.) I distinctly remember these Honey-Nut Shortbread Bars going over very well. They taste how I imagine Winnie the Pooh would taste. Pure honey.
These gooey squares start with a super simple shortbread crust. They are then topped with a mixture of butter, sugar, honey, heavy cream, and a nut of your choice. I like to use pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts (or a mixture!) I’m usually one of those people who gravitates toward the gooey, almost under-baked center of a pan of brownies. With these bars, I’m here for the corners. As the filling bakes, the honey and sugar start to caramelize around the edges of the pan, which creates a chewy, sticky, caramel-like texture.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups chopped toasted nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts
- Make crust: preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Place flour, confectioners' sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until dough comes together. Press evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make filling: place butter, brown sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar melts. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes, without stirring. Meanwhile, place cream in a medium heatproof bowl.
- Pour honey mixture into bowl with cream and whisk until well combined. Stir in nuts. Pour filling over cooled crust. Bake until filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes, then run a knife around edges of pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack; cut into squares.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262