prep time: 90 minutes
bake time: 30 minutes
cleanup time: 10 minutes
time spent procrastibaking: ~2 hours
good morning, procrastibakers, and hello to my new friends at coler & colantonio who have profited from procrastibaking leftovers the last couple days. in an effort not to eat all of the sweetheart cupcakes or pumpkin doughnuts or savory scones (post coming soon!) my boyfriend brought everything to the office with him, and came home last night with empty containers, asking, “what are we going to bake for the office tonight?”
i pondered as we went to yoga class, and then panera for dinner afterwards, and then finally, as we meandered through super stop & shop, it struck me. a delicious cookie bar, light and chewy with a palate stimulating texture, perfect with a morning cup of coffee (or two). and so, the pear-hazelnut bar was conceptualized.
it wasn’t until we strolled in the door after 10pm that i realized it might be a long night. but who needs sleep when you can bake? let’s go!
ingredients & tools.
- 4 red crimson pears (medium sized)
- 5 cups cold water
- 2 cups sugar
- medium pot
- large baking sheet, medium baking sheet
- sharp knife (or mandolin/vegetable slicer)
- mixing bowl
- food processor/blender
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- medium saucepan
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
first, we have to soften these pears a little. if you have a mandolin or vegetable slicer, that'd be ideal, but otherwise, take a sharp knife and slice your pears as thinly (and evenly!) as you can.
in the medium pot, add the five cups of cold water and two cups of sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. be sure to stir so that the sugar completely dissolves. reduce the temperature and add the slices of pear to the water. cover, and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until the pear slices start to look translucent. remove from heat and allow the pears to cool in the water.
put the cooled pears on your large baking sheet and place in the oven at 275 degrees for 35 minutes or so, until they've begun to dry out. the thinner you slice them, the dryer the pear slices will get.
while your pears are drying out, stir together your flour, salt, baking powder, and hazelnuts in your mixing bowl.
using your food processor (or blender, in my case... you know what i say, use what you've got!), pulse the flour/nut mixture until it reaches a fine, uniform consistency.
in your medium saucepan, heat the stick of softened butter until it's completely melted.
add the brown sugar and egg to the melted butter, and stir until the mixture is completely uniform.
add the flour/nut mixture and the pears to the egg/sugar blend, and stir as best as you can until it reaches a uniform consistency. it'll be a little thick and gloppy; that's okay.
spread the batter evenly in your smaller baking sheet (mine's 9x13") and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until the top is golden and slightly crispy.
once the pan has cooled completely, invert it onto a clean surface (i used a cutting board) and slice into bars. delish!
recipe adapted from phillipa vanstone’s “500 cookies”
isbn #: 978-1-56906-592-1