Friday, March 22, 2024

Bee Sting Bars

Diamond-shaped shortbread bars topped with a honey and almond topping, photographed on a white speckled plate

Whenever I have a particularly long or busy week, I find a lot of solace in looking through recipes that I have pinned and think about what I can bake. I have a well-stocked pantry, so I try to consider recipes that don’t call for too many special ingredients. I find it surprising how many baked treats use ingredients that I have. Of course, it is helpful that I keep things like cream cheese, honey, several types of chocolate chips, and sliced almonds on hand!

This bar cookie is based on the German Bienenstich Cake, which is a yeasted cake with honey and sliced almonds. This recipe is much easier to make, which is wonderful as I had thought about making the original cake, but I’m scared away whenever I read the recipe. This has a shortbread base, topped with a honey/almond topping. You can use sliced almond that have the skins on or not; it doesn’t matter. In the States it is easier to find the ones with skin, but I ordered mine from a company that has the ones I like.

When you make these bars, the recipe warns that the base is crumbly, and they are not kidding. The dough does stick together well, so that was helpful. I found that any larger bits of butter weren’t sticky, so I did away with those. Refrigerating the dough helps it stay together, so once I made the topping and baked the bars, I had no issue at all. With my giant knife I had, I cut these into lovely diamond shapes. These bars have a good substantial shortbread base, but these are all about the topping. It has wonderful almond flavor and I wonder why it took me so long to bake these!

Bee Sting Bars
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
8.5 ounces flour

6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons amaretto
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups sliced almonds

Line an 8” square pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the vanilla and salt and stir to incorporate. Add the flour, mixing on low. The mixture will be very crumbly. Press the dough into the 8” pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, combine all of the topping ingredients: butter, sugar, honey, amaretto, vanilla, and sliced almonds. Heat the saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for two minutes and then remove the mixture from the heat. Pour the topping onto the shortbread base, making sure the mixture is evenly distributed.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the bars are golden. Allow the bars to cool before cutting into pieces.

Recipe from Fifteen Spatulas

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