Friday, November 14, 2014

Raising the Bar: Salty-Sweet Pistachio Bar Recipe

I recently saw Martha make these pecan bars on TV, and they looked absolutely wonderful. I like pecans, and many other types of nuts, too. But above all others, I love pistachios, and immediately thought of trying them in this recipe. What intrigued me the most was the use of honey to make the ooey-gooey part of this bar, and I knew the pistachios would complement it perfectly:

pistachio bar cookies

Pistachio Bars

For the crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup shelled, roasted and salted pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Thoroughly butter an 8-inch square pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in cardamom and vanilla. Add flour and mix until combined—the dough will be crumbly. Press evenly into prepared pan and prick all over with a fork. Chill in the fridge until firm, about 15 minutes, while preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Move the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Once crust has cooled, preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place butter, brown sugar and honey for the filling in a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Let mixture come to a boil and continue to boil, stirring constantly, for one minute—the mixture will thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and carefully stir in pistachios and vanilla extract. Quickly pour filling over cooled crust, spreading it out to the edges, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly. Let cool completely and cut into small squares or bars.

Notes: This recipe has been adapted from the original noted above. If you don't like cardamom, you can leave it out or replace with cinnamon. This is a salty-sweet treat, but unsalted pistachios would be equally delicious—just add a pinch of salt to the filling for balance. Cashews would work well in this recipe, too. For additional flair, drizzle melted white, milk or dark chocolate over the bars and let set before serving.



  1. Very yummy... such a treat. Pistachios are an added touch of flavor. Decadent. But just enuf so.


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