James Beard's Vadis Bars

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Total Time
1hr
Prep
30 mins
Cook
30 mins

These unusual bar cookies are extremely rich and sweet, featuring a crumbly cookie dough topped with a caramel butter crunch. There is nothing moderate about these. Your guests will devour them like piranha. I've reduced the baking time to 30 minutes and oven temperature to 325 F and added lemon juice to the batter. It makes 140 bars, but the way I cut them it's more like 70. This terrific recipe is adapted from The New James Beard (1981).

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Put the flour and other dough ingredients in a mixing bowl. With your hands, slowly work to mix the flour into the other ingredients, making an orange ball of dough. When everything is mixed smoothly, spread dough on a lightly greased 11 x 16-inch jelly roll pan. Place in the refrigerator to cool as you make the topping.
  2. Get a heavy saucepan and combine sugar and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is melted.
  3. Add the butter and cream, stirring, until the mixture boils. Continue to stir until smooth.
  4. Add the nuts of your choice, the vanilla extract, stir gently, and set aside to cool.
  5. Take jelly roll pan with dough out of refrigerator and bake it in a preheated oven at 325 F for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven, spread butter crunch topping over dough, and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until top is bubbling. Remove from oven, cool, and cut into 70 small bars with a greased knife.