“These are interesting.” Hmmm, what do you say to that? What does that mean? Is it good, is it bad? I certainly had my dad tripping over his words after he used it to describe these bars. But, I actually know what he means because they are really hard to describe. Are they are bar? Are they a caramel-like candy? They don’t really seem to fit the normal mold of a ‘bar’ in their texture. But boy are they tasty.
A deep, rich, nutty flavor from the browned butter, combined with honey, crunchy pistachios and a soft almost caramel-like chewy texture that almost reminds me of a flourless chocolate cake crossed with a caramel or pecan pie filling without the pecans. These ‘bars’ were a hit up at duck camp and the flavors are rich enough that I think they would be at home on a holiday cookie or candy platter this time of year.
Something happened to these bars when I doubled the recipe from Baker by Nature to make a 9×13 pan, which has less surface area than two 8×8 pans meaning my bars would be a little thicker. They came out more gooey and caramel like than the promised cookie bars of the recipe, but it turned out to be a really happy mistake. We loved them! I also brown the butter more than called for in the original recipe because I wanted a deeper nuttier flavor.
Here’s what you need:
Start by browning two and a half sticks of butter. Yes 2.5 sticks of butter. These are brown butter bars after all. Melt the butter over medium-low heat and cook until it turns a nice deep color. Once it starts to brown though keep an eye on it and don’t let it burn.
Transfer the butter to a larger bowl and add some brown sugar and honey.
Whisk that together and make sure it’s cooled slightly before adding the eggs because you don’t want to cook them. Then whisk in two egg yolks and two eggs. Yes, I know my picture is missing an egg – I got excited when I took the photo.
Add in two cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of salt.
Stir it all together with a rubber spatula so you don’t overmix it.
Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with a parchment sling – don’t worry about covering the small ends , although if you want to do a parchment lining on both ends you sure can. It will lift out fine with a one piece sling though – just make sure the parchment reaches a little over the edge of the pan. Spray it with cooking spray.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 22 to 25 minutes until the edges are set and the center is a little jiggly. Kind of like if you were making a pumpkin pie or crème brulee.
Allow the bars to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then use the sling to transfer the bars to a wire rack to cook completely. I transferred mine before the 10 minutes were up because I really needed to leave the house for a doctor’s appointment when I was making this for the blog and didn’t want to leave it in the pan while I was gone. So I got a small little crack in the top of the bars – it’s not as pretty but it didn’t impact the flavor or the taste.
Use a knife to cut the bars into small squares – these are really rich so you want to go smaller than you’d normally cut bars.
Serve and enjoy. And don’t be offended if people say these are interesting. They are interesting in a very good, chewy, caramel-like kind of way.
- 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
- 2 c packed dark brown sugar
- 7 T honey
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 t salt
- 2 c flour
- ½ c shelled salted pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking pan with a parchment sling and spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts completely and then browns. Watch it carefully when it starts to brown and don’t let it burn.
- Add the butter to a large bowl and whisk in brown sugar and honey until smooth. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the egg and egg yolks.
- Stir in the flour and salt and be careful not to overmix.
- Pour batter into pan and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes until edges are set and the center is still soft and jiggles just a little.
- Remove pan from oven and cool on counter on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Use the parchment sling to transfer the partially cooled bars to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cut into small squares once cool.