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Browned Butter Easter Bars

Posted Mar 29 2013 12:00am
A bonus post for you, brought to you by the Easter bunny ;)

With some Easter candy at home that I was all too tempted to eat in one sitting, I thought I should do something with them so that didn't happen.  And I ended up with Browned Butter Easter Candy Bars.  I mean, adding browned butter to Easter candy and I won't want to touch it, right?

Brilliant, Shannon.

Browned Butter Easter Candy Bars
adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Yield: ~24

14T unsalted butter, sliced into even chunks
2c + 2T whole wheat pastry flour (AP or white whole wheat)
1/2t salt
1/2t baking soda
1c unpacked brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2c evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
1 lg egg
1 lg egg yolk
2t vanilla extract
2c chopped Easter candy (mine was a mix of mini eggs, chocolate covered peeps, lindt truffles, and creme eggs)
coarse sea salt, for the topping

Preheat the oven to 325deg.  Spray a 9x13" pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Make the browned butter by heating a thick-bottomed pot or skillet over medium heat.  Add butter and swirl to the pan to ensure even cooking.  Whisk frequently as the butter begins to foam and then subsides.  As soon as you see browned bits beginning to form at the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the heat and let cool.  It should smell deliciously nutty and start to drive you crazy.

Prepare your dry ingredients in a medium bowl; whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.

Once the browned butter has cooled to room temperature, add 3/4c to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add brown and white sugars and beat until well combined.  Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chopped candy.

Add the batter to your prepared pan and press into the pan evenly with a spatula.  Top with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.  Bake for 25-30min, until the bars are slightly browned and edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars.  Store in an airtight container.

What's your favorite treat to bake up with holiday candy?
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