Caramel Nut Squares

Buttery, decadent shortbread-like cookies are topped with mixed nuts in a caramel sauce. Be sure to add these gems to your holiday cookie plate.

Ingredients

Crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, slightly beaten
Topping:
3/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 °. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Crust:
Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg and pulse just until mixture begins to form a ball. Do not over-process.

Remove dough, place in prepared pan and using your hands, spread evenly across bottom of pan but not up sides.

Bake about 15 minutes until edges are golden. Cool pan on rack.

Topping:
While crust is baking prepare topping. Toss nuts together and place on a baking sheet in preheated oven. Bake 5-7 minutes to lightly toast nuts.

In a heavy saucepan bring honey, brown sugar and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil another 2 minutes without stirring. Add butter and cream and boil 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in toasted nuts. Pour mixture over crust and spread evenly. Bake 12-15 minutes until topping begins to bubble.

Remove from oven and cool on rack until caramel is set. Using a spatula carefully remove the cooled crust from pan and place on a cutting surface. With a serrated knife cut cookies into 1-inch squares.

Yields: approximately 25 1-inch square cookies


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