I call these my “naughty but nice” bars. Packed with dried cherries, white chocolate chips and chopped walnuts, they’re indulgent and oh-so-good! —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3/4 cups chopped walnuts, divided
- 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup white baking chips
- Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugars and extract until light and fluffy. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, cream and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in 2-1/2 cups walnuts, cherries and vanilla; spread over crust. Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with baking chips and remaining walnuts; lightly press into filling. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 6-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Cherry Walnut Squares in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2011, p62
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