Holiday season is cookie season! We are all about cookies this month: baking, decorating, gifting and hosting the classic cookie exchange. On Taste, we’ll be sharing 30 days of holiday cookies, so be sure to check back every day for a new recipe! And for more inspiration and great recipes, visit our Cookie Central page.
These sweet-and-salty bars were inspired by a much-loved cake recipe from author Nigel Slater. The citrus glaze helps highlight the toasty flavor of the pistachios and almonds, making these bars and ideal option for anyone who isn’t crazy about sweets that are too sweet.
Pistachio-Almond Bars with Citrus Glaze
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 7 1/2-by-12-inch or 9-by-13-inch baking dish and dust with flour.
Strain the orange and lemon juices into a bowl, then measure out 3 tablespoons and place in a separate bowl. You should have about 1/3 cup citrus juice remaining (if not, add a bit more orange or lemon juice).
In a food processor, pulse the nuts, the citrus zests, and half of the granulated sugar until finely ground. Put in a bowl and stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the reserved 1/3 cup citrus juice. Gently stir in the nut mixture just until combined.
Spread the batter in the prepared dish. Bake until light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the dish for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet to cool completely.
Stir the confectioners’ sugar into the 3 tablespoons citrus juice, then pour over the top and spread evenly. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Makes about 18 bars.
For more great cookies and other baking recipes be sure to check out our latest book, Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort.