I'll tell you right off the bat that these are not kid-friendly dessert. I tested on my four kids and they all gave me a polite "It's OK, mom" and that's fine with me, I am happy that they always give whatever I make a try. But Wednesday lunch crowd and I loved these chewy pistachio bars. A flavor of toasted pistachios with tart dried cherries and cranberries were great. And so pretty, don't you think?
Toasting the nuts in oven releases the oil and makes nuts, any nuts more fragrant.
Press the short cake mixture onto the foiled lined pans.
Chop dried cherries and cranberries.
Mix nuts, dried fruit, and coconut with egg and maple syrup mixture.
Spread mixture over cool crust.
After baking drizzle melted white chocolate. Cool before cutting into wedges.
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Makes about 1 1/2 dozen bars
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 5 pieces and chilled
1 large egg
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pistachios , toasted and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 ounces white chocolate , chopped
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing excess foil to hang over pan edges. Grease foil. Process 1 cup flour and 2 tablespoons sugar in food processor until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and pulse until only pea-sized pieces remain. Press mixture into prepared pan and bake until light golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
2. Whisk egg, syrup, extracts, salt, remaining flour, and remaining sugar in large bowl. Fold in pistachios, cranberries, cherries, and coconut, then spread mixture evenly over cooled crust. Bake until topping is golden and begins to pull away from sides of pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
3. Using foil overhang, lift cookies out of pan. Cut into 2½-inch squares and cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Microwave white chocolate in small bowl, stirring occasionally, until melted, 30 to 60 seconds. Put melted chocolate in a zip lock baggie. Cut a small opening in the corner of the bag and drizzle over the bars. Place on wire rack until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.
Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in air tight containers.