Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Heart NY - NYC, volume 3

On our last day in New York City, we spent the morning at the 9/11 Memorial. This tribute is extremely powerful and moving. There really are no words for the weight of the sadness that hits as one reads the names etched in bronze around the reflecting pools of each life lost. We all watched in horror a those planes struck and the towers fell. Walking on those grounds and gazing into the ponds and waterfalls, one feels a great responsibility to honor those fallen, to be a better person, and to never forget.

The rest of the day was spent wandering and eating. Eating and wandering. We walked blocks and blocks and stopped anywhere that looked appealing. A drink here. An appetizer there. A dessert in another place. A spinach pie from a deli. A warming cup of cappuccino. We nibbled through restaurants, and diners, and delis, and bakeries. We sampled anything that caught our fancy, and even though our bites were small, by the time our feet were tired and we were ready to head back to the hotel, my tummy was so full I thought I might burst. It was incredible. The best. I want to go back and do it again. Right now. Right.Now. I heart New York.

One of the places we stopped was Amy's Bread. After our slightly disappointing dinners, I was looking for one thing to really love. One outstanding food needed to stand out for this trip, and I found it at this bakery. Salted Butterscotch Cashew Bars rocked. Totally. Completely. We bought one and split it as we walked the few blocks to another stop. Immediately, I wanted more...even though I was rapidly reaching my full button. We dissected the flavors and debated the ingredients. When we got back to the hotel, I did an online search for the recipe. I was in love.

These sweet, salty, chewy, nutty bars of perfection would be an excellent treat for your Valentine (since that day is rapidly approaching). Or, if Cupid hasn't hit you, just make a pan for yourself. Don't eat them all in one sitting, though. Salted Butterscotch Cashew Bars are rich. Deliciously rich. Deliciously divine. I heart Salted Butterscotch Cashew Bars.

(from Amy Sherber, The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread 

2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, cold
1 1/8 cups light brown sugar, packed

1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips (this is the rough measurement of a package of butterscotch chips)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups cashew pieces, roasted and salted

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line a 12 x 17-inch sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Grease lightly with softened butter.
To make the crust, cut the butter into the flour, alternating with the brown sugar, using a pastry blender to form a coarse meal. (Alternatively, use a food processor fitted with a metal blade.)
The dough will be a little crumbly but will almost form a ball.
Spread the crust evenly in the bottom of greased pan, patting in gently.
Be careful not to pack it down too much or the crust will become tough.
Bake it for 5 minutes then prick the dough lightly with a fork all over, and return the pan to the oven and bake for about 10 more minutes.
The crust should be slightly browned and soft to the touch.
Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool for several minutes.(Cooling is important, as the hot topping will destroy a warm crust.) Do not turn off the oven.
To make the topping, melt the butterscotch chips, corn syrup, butter, water, and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the chips have melted completely and the topping has just begun to simmer, about 5 minutes.
Stir the cashew pieces into the hot topping and spread it evenly over the baked crust.
Bake again for 11 to 15 minutes, or until the surface is brown and very bubbly.
Allow the bars to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. (Yield: 25 bars)

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely love NYC! It's a city that never sleeps, yet it captures my heart whenever I am there. Glad you all had a lot of fun.

    Delicious cashew bars, btw :)


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