Think of these bars as “even better” pecan pie.
Assuming you think that pecan pie is too much “filling”, and not enough nuts.
These little bars are super easy to make – much easier than pie – and have just enough “filling” to coat the nuts (we used walnuts here but you can substitute with any nut you like), and provide a sweetness that complements without overwhelming.
A drizzle of melted chocolate doesn’t hurt.
You can make this recipe well in advance, keeping the bars in the freezer for unexpected guests, a foodie gift for a loved one (near or far, as these ship beautifully), or to enjoy with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
Honey Walnut Bars:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half, divided
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or your nut of choice)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper in both directions, to make a “sling”.
Place the flour, 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and the salt in a food processor. Pulse briefly just to combine. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter and pulse until the mixture forms small crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream and pulse till the dough just comes together.
Transfer the dough to your prepared pan and press in an even layer. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven and set aside (keep oven on).
Spread the walnuts onto a small baking sheet and bake till fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside (keep oven on).
Place 6 tablespoons of the butter, the brown sugar, honey and the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the walnuts, remaining tablespoon of cream and vanilla and stir till the nuts are well coated. Pour over the dough in your baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. While the dough is still slightly warm, use your sling to transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares, then cut the squares into rectangles or triangles. Return the bars to the wire rack and set the rack over a piece of waxed paper.
In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Use a fork or spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars. Let set and store in an airtight container (in the fridge for one week, longer if frozen).