Thursday, January 20, 2011

And now for a moment

You know every once in a while you just succumb to naughty. And the other day as I was working on some recipe development I had an urge. I usually can munch on some extra-dark hand knotted pretzels or simply a salad to quell that calling to nosh. I was not feeling my typical venues for satisfaction, rather it was sweet that was calling me.

I started thumbing through books on my shelves and recipes I had written to get some direction on this gnarring request, but I was also feeling lazy, not really wanting to get into the kitchen and bake. Now, completely distracted by a craving that wasn’t ebbing I started to cruise websites. I stumbled across a recipe for Magic Bars something I had heard, though whose name was never known to me. You all know them they are those gooey bars layered with crumbled cookies, nuts, chocolate butterscotch chips, sweetened coconut that is set by sweetened condensed milk. Considering them there was very little in the original formula I would put in my body – but the concept was intriguing to that sugary spot in my mouth. It is the dead of winter and no wonder I stopped on a recipe that was free of any fruit or herb. If it were a warmer time of year a spectacular pint of strawberries or a succulent peach would have nipped my internal hankering in the bud. Without a seasonal moment to hang my desire on I went to winter’s staple of nuts and dried fruit. So, I went to work to whip up a layered nut bar with enough edge to make these naughty bits perfectly bad.

As a note of warning: I have calculated each piece to be approx. 170 calories, so find your satisfaction quickly and freeze the rest!

Naughty Nut Squares – yields 30 pieces
4-ounces unsalted butter – melted
1-1/4 cup ground almonds
1-tablespoon all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
6-ounces white chocolate – roughly chopped
1/2-cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2-cup chopped pistachio nuts
1-can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees.

Pour the butter into an 8-1/2 inch by 8-1/2 inch pan.

Mix the ground almond and flour together, and then sprinkle over the butter.

Then distribute the coconut over the almond mixture. Then scatter the nuts over the coconut. Next sprinkle a layer of white chocolate. Finally, drizzle the sweetened condensed over the nuts. Do not mix the concoction.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack, and cool completely. Cut into approx 1/2-inch squares.

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