Not a lot of words today. Just a few pictures.
Pictures telling the story of a clumsy batch of Agave Nut Bars that tripped and fell into some melted chocolate.
Really? Be more careful, lil’ Agave Nut Bars! What if you’d fallen into a pot of my mole negro?!? Uh… whatever. More on that later.
You had to know that we were going to be cutting out some cute little round bars.
You had to!
Oh, uh, I guess not all of those lil’ bars tripped and fell into the chocolate. Maybe a few were placed there. Just a few. I’m only trying to be fair!
Fair to all the Agave Nut Bars sitting on my counter. Fair to this bowl full of melted chocolate that certainly can’t go to waste. Fair to, you know, anyone who might want to eat these things.
I’m just being fair. And I think you should be too.
Be fair to that agave nectar hanging around in your cupboard and put it into some nut bars. Be reasonable with the chocolate that’s languishing at the back of your pantry and dip some finished bars in it.
Come on… it’s only fair!
Chocolate-Dipped Agave Nut Bars
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. light brown sugar, tightly packed
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. agave nectar
1 c. pine nuts (pinyon nuts may be substituted)
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spread nuts on a sheet pan and toast for approximately 5 minutes, or until nuts are fragrant and golden brown. Note that toasting pine nuts is an art – they need constant attention as they can burn in an instant. I toss mine regularly as they toast since the nuts release oils that cause them to stick to the pan. Just keep an eye on them, tossing when you can, and you’ll be fine. Removed finished nuts and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, grease and line the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ metal baking pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and continue to beat. Mix in vanilla, agave nectar, and salt. Slowly add flour while still mixing, and beat just until you have a uniform batter. Fold in the nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, taking care to cover the pan evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Finished bars will be a deep golden brown with the edges pulling away from the pan. Remove and cool before unmolding.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate in the bowl of a double-boiler. Once bars are cool you can choose to stamp them out in circular shapes as I did (the remaining scraps go to the chef, OF COURSE) or simply cut them into squares. Once the chocolate is melted, dip each bar into the chocolate. The bars should be quite dense and will stand up to the chocolate bath, but if you find that they’re tearing slightly as you coat simply tip and roll the bowl to coat each bar in chocolate instead of dragging the bar through the chocolate. Note that I chose to dip half of each bar in chocolate. Place coated bars on a wire rack to cool and set.
YIELD: 12- 2 1/2″ circular bars or 15 square-cut bars