CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 14 Sci-Fi & Fantasy - Page 91

These sesame bars are our best seller, by far. Lots of brown sugar combined with a thick, raw honey produce the caramel that holds the nuts and sesame seeds together over a thick shortbread crust. Cut them into small pieces; they are very rich and one or two bites is enough. Read the instructions care- fully: the bars come out of the oven very underbaked and set up as they cool. Don’t be tempted to bake them longer because the caramel will be too hard and not chewy. MAKES 3 DOZEN SESAME CASHEW BARS Crust 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 13⁄4 sticks (7 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes 2⁄3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt Filling 31⁄2 cups salted cashews, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (see page 241) 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar 11⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar 1⁄2 cup raw honey (page 234) 5 tablespoons heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Line a 13 by 9-inch pan with aluminum foil, making sure it extends over the sides. Very lightly spray or butter the foil. To make the crust, combine the flour, butter, brown sugar, and salt and in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until the butter forms pieces the size of small pebbles, 20 to 30 seconds. Pour the crust crumbs into the prepared pan and press down to form an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the crust until golden, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool. While the crust is cooling, make the filling. Combine the cashews, sesame seeds, and salt in a bowl. Mix well and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the granulated and brown sugars and honey and cook over me- dium heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves and begins to turn to caramel, forming large bubbles and thickening, or reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the cashew mixture until well combined. Pour the filling on top of the baked crust in an even layer. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the caramel bubbles along the sides of the pan only and the center is still liquid, 26 to 28 minutes. The filling will appear un- baked. It is very important not to overbake. The filling will set up as it cools. Set aside to cool completely and then cover and refrigerate overnight. Lift the foil out of the pan to remove the bars in one large block. Cut into thirty-six 11⁄2-inch squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. © Hundred-to-One LLC 2017. All rights reserved.