Salty Sweet White Chocolate Cashew Bars breathe new life into boring white chocolate, creating something indulgent and delicious. Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
This is the second of the 2 desserts I made for the teachers’ conferences this past week. There is another dinner coming too, and the other cookie will be shared next week. Whew! That was a lot of cooking and baking! But cooking and baking is what I like to do so it is by far my favorite way to volunteer for the school, after reading in the library of course.
On a side note, would you believe one of Sammy’s friends from her class last year told her she really missed having me read in the library? That just melted my heart!
But anyway, about these bars. They had all been eaten when I went to pick up my tupperware the next day, so I am assuming the teachers liked them ok. Sammy, John and I definitely did; lately Alex rejects anything with white chocolate. Which I highly urge you not to do–even if you hate the taste of it plain! Match it up with something tart, salty, bitter or any combination thereof and it totally changes things. For example, combine it with these cashews and it is a whole new ballgame. Just please, please, please make sure you use real white chocolate. If you cannot find it locally, my absolute favorite is Green & Black’s Organic White Chocolate with Vanilla Bar (I always have at least 3 or 4 in my pantry for baking) and it is available online.
Do any of your old cookbooks suddenly provide a wealth of new recipes after gathering dust for a while? This is why I cannot ever throw out or get rid of any cookbooks. You just never know! Both this recipe and another coming soon came from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook. This is one of those classic, classic cookbooks that everyone should own if they like to bake cookies at all. Not any photos, it is old school with some illustrations, and the selection is nearly encyclopedic for American style cookies, as well as a decent selection of international ones. And almost 10 years after buying it I can still find great new (to me) recipes in it!
- 2 jumbo eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 t fine sea salt
- 1 t ground vanilla beans
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 t baking powder
- 6 oz good quality white chocolate cut into chunks-I prefer Green & Black's, divided
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 4 oz) unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups (7.25 oz) AP flour
- 1 cup salted and roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9X13 baking pan with parchment paper overhanding at least 2 opposite sides--if it does not cover the pan completely on the ends, lightly grease those spots.
Using the whip attachment, beat your eggs on medium high speed until foamy. Add the sugar gradually on medium low speed, then scrape the sides and add the salt, baking powder, ground vanilla beans and vanilla extract.
Return the speed to medium high. While it is beating, add the butter to a small saucepan on the lowest heat to melt.
Let the eggs beat until lightened and quite thick and shiny. Turn off the mixer and remove the attachment.
Return to the butter. When it is starting to brown, add half of the chopped white chocolate. Stir for about 20 seconds and then turn off the heat. Continue stirring. If the chocolate does not melt, turn the heat back on for a moment of 2 on low--be careful as white chocolate scorches easily. Stir until the chocolate is melted and then remove completely from the heat.
I did the rest by hand but you could also switch to a paddle attachment. Stir the flour into the egg mixture in 2 additions. Stir until it is completely incorporated but do not overbeat.
Beat in the melted white chocolate and butter. Do not overbeat, but do beat enough to completely incorporate the chocolate and butter--the butter especially will want to separate at first.
When it is all incorporated, scrape into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it out evenly.
Sprinkle the cashews over the batter evenly. Then sprinkle the remaining white chocolate chunks evenly around the cashews.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bars are puffed, shiny and golden brown.
Cool completely before removing by the parchment overhang and then slicing into bars.
Affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to items I would be linking to and discussing anyway.