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Maple Macadamia Bars Recipe
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Maple Macadamia Bars

Yield: 32 2-inch by 1 1/2-inch bars

1/2 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks (cold)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour

Soften the butter. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract and scrape the sides of the bowl. At low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until incorporated.

Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the wrap, not your fingers, to press the dough together to form a ball.

Flatten the ball into a thick disc and roll it out into a 10-inch by 14-inch rectangle between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper.

Slip it onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm but still flexible.

Prepare a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan by lining entirely with aluminum foil and then buttered or greased.

Peel of the top piece of plastic wrap from the dough and invert the dough into the prepared baking pan. Peel off the bottom piece of plastic wrap.

Donít worry if the pastry breaks. Simply press it evenly into the bottom of the pan. Press the edges of the dough up the sides of the pan, forming a 1/2-inch border.

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil a little larger than the size of the pan and lay it on top of the dough. Place enough copper pennies or dried beans on top of the foil to hold it down and keep the crust from rising.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or just until lightly golden.

While the crust is baking, make the filling.

Filling:

1 1/2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts, very coarsely chopped
1 cup dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preparation:

If your macadamia nuts are salted, rinse them in a strainer under hot tap water and re-crisp them in a 350 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Spread the macadamia nuts over the baked crust.

In a heavy, medium-size saucepan, preferably with a nonstick lining, combine the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, corn syrup and maple syrup.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stop stirring and allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute to dissolve the sugar.

Pour the mixture evenly over the nuts. Bake for 10 minutes. The filling will be bubbling.

Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Remove the cookie from the pan by lifting out the aluminum foil. Invert onto a cookie sheet and peel off the foil. Re-invert onto a cutting surface and cut the cookie lengthwise into 4 strips (each about 2 inches wide) and then crosswise into 8 strips (about 1 1/2 inches wide).

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