Classic Cookies with Modern Twists
Photography by Charity Burggraaf
A recipe in The Joy of Cooking inspired these chewy bar cookies. I made them to accompany the butterscotch pudding on my first menu at my first job as a pastry chef. We called them Honeymoon Bars, for a reason I no longer remember, but they’re a close relative of the Dream Bar, which also pairs a buttery crumb crust with a gooey nut and coconut filling. Honeymoon Bars lend themselves to experimentation, but my favorite variation is with almonds and chocolate, a little bit like an Almond Joy bar, only better.
Makes one 9-by-13-inch pan
You Will Need
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by- 13-inch pan with foil, pressing firmly into the corners and leaving 2 inches of overhang on all sides. Lightly grease the foil and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the butter, 1 ½ cups of the flour, ½ cup of the sugar, and ½ teaspoon of the salt until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Press the crust into the pan, using your fingertips to distribute it evenly over the bottom. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, the remaining 1 ¼ cups sugar, and the vanilla. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons flour, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and the baking powder. Add the coconut, pecans, and apricots, stirring with a spatula to evenly distribute the ingredients. Pour the filling over the warm crust and return the pan to the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the filling is set and golden brown. Move the pan from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.