Friday, November 23, 2018

Cashew Bars with Eggnog Glaze

It’s Christmas cookie time! I really love this time of the year, and I have planned what I would like to bake. It’s always interesting to look back and see what I actually end up baking. I inevitably come across some recipe that I end up making instead of what I had planned. That’s ok- baking Christmas cookies is for fun!

On my desk at work, I have one of those page a day calendars and the theme of the calendar is that every day is a holiday. I guess you can find a holiday for anything. I typically look ahead and see if any of the Friday holidays are related to baking or celebrate an ingredient I can use in baking. Most of the time I don’t have luck, but this week, Friday is National Cashew Day. I figured I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.

I found these cookies in a Christmas cookie magazine that you see in the stores this time of year. The original recipe used macadamia nuts, but I knew that I could substitute cashews with no problem. This recipe uses a different method. You typically cream together the butter and sugar, but for these bars you melt the butter and sugar together. That gives the bars a slightly different texture, and the bars are nearly perfectly flat. With the nutmeg and eggnog, these cookies instantly make you think of Christmas.

Cashew Bars with Eggnog Glaze
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped cashews

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
About 2 tablespoons eggnog

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Transfer the sugar mixture to a large mixer bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on medium until combined. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Stir in the cashews. Spread the dough into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges pull away from the edge of the pan and the bars are slightly browned. Allow the bars to cool on a wire rack before glazing.

Make the glaze: in a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon eggnog. Add additional eggnog until the glaze is the right consistency for drizzling. Drizzle over the cooled bars. Allow the glaze to set before cutting into bars.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Best of Christmas Cookies

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