You probably didn’t even know you needed this bar. Well, wait until you taste it. The honeycomb bar is not exactly common, nor does it have an immediately recognizable taste, but that’s what makes this truly uncategorizable bar so wonderful. Almonds and dried cherries are encased in an orange-honey glaze and baked in a buttery sweet tart dough. We’re convinced that these bars, equally delicious for breakfast or dessert, will become part of your permanent repertoire.
Sweet tart dough freezes well. Make a double batch of the dough, wrap half of it tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap, and freeze it for future use.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, fruity, nutty, sweet, tart
Type of Dishdessert
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1/3 cup diced candied orange peel
- 2 tablespoons cake flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup honey
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Shot of brandy or bourbon
- 2½ cups sliced almonds, toasted
MAKE THE SWEET TART DOUGH
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until combined.
In a small bowl whisk together the heavy cream, egg yolk, and vanilla. Add this to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add the flour and salt until just combined.
Turn out the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and form into an oblong disk. Wrap the disk tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle roughly the shape of the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, and press into the bottom of the pan (do not press up the sides). Don’t worry if you aren’t able to roll out a perfect crust. The dough is quite forgiving and can be pressed, in pieces, into the pan by hand.
Cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper . Place dried beans or pie weights over the dough and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer from the oven to a cooling rack. Keep the oven on while you make the filling.
MAKE THE HONEYCOMB BAR FILLING
In a medium bowl, toss together the dried cherries, orange peel, cake flour, and salt. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, heavy cream, honey, and butter. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring the mixture to the soft ball stage, approximately 240 degrees F. Do not stir the mixture while it is coming to this stage.
Once the mixture reaches 240 degrees F., add the brandy and remove from the heat.
Fold the dry ingredients and the almonds into the hot sugar mixture and pour the mixture into the sweet tart crust. Spread the filling evenly, and smooth the top.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the bar is golden and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.
Bars can be stored at room temperature, covered and sealed, for up to 4 days.
2008 Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito