Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tahini Cashew Bars with Chocolate

This recipe made delicious bars! The Engineer said they reminded him of halva, and I can see why. Plus, they stayed good several days at room temperature! They’re a bit like blondies and would be easy to adapt by using different nut butters or add-ins (like chocolate chips).

The author says you could use all tahini or all cashew butter instead of a 50/50 mix as is the case here, but I’d caution you to make sure the consistency of your preferred ingredient will work – meaning tahini that isn’t too thin or nut butter that isn’t too thick. In any event, make sure your stir them well before use.

½ cup (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
½ cup well-stirred tahini
½ cup cashew butter (crunchy or smooth)
7½ oz. (approximately 1½ cups) all-purpose flour
½ - 1 cup chopped unsalted cashews, toasted or raw (optional; I didn’t use them)
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
1½ tsp. Maldon sea salt flakes or kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 sides to hang over the edges. Lightly grease the top of the paper and sides of the pan.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer off, add both sugars and the vanilla extract, and turn the mixer on low to combine everything. Turn the speed back up to medium-high for an additional 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to fully incorporate before adding the next, scraping down the sides after the 2nd and final egg.

With the mixer on low speed, add the tahini and cashew butter until evenly combined. Scrape down the sides.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in 3 stages until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, all the way to the bottom. If using, add the chopped cashews.

Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan. It will be thick and almost sticky. Spread it evenly using a regular or offset spatula.

Drizzle the melted chocolate over the batter. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the top of the bars.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Allow to cool completely, then lift the parchment overhangs to remove the bars from the pan. Slice and serve.

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