I could never pick a favorite nut. I enjoy most kinds, if not all, for varying reasons.
Pistachios are awesome to just devour; the presence of the shell is important to slow me down and keep me from inhaling my weight in them. Peanuts are one variety that I really only appreciate in butter form, but that counts. I prefer my almonds sliced, toasted, and often in a savory dish. Walnuts and pecans, to me, are best toasted and excellent in a salad. Macadamia nuts are a treat that I don't often allow myself, but when I do, you'd better believe they're in some sort of dessert involving white chocolate. What's left? I like the extract of hazelnut in my coffee and pine nuts in my pasta. I think that's the majority of the nuts we eat, which one glaring omission--cashews.
Cashews are magnificent. They're big and meaty, with a rich, buttery flavor, and they're best roasted and salted (in my most humble opinion). Like pistachios, this is a nut that seems perfect for noshing. Bonus--it's great in recipes too! The proof is in these bars, a layered combination of peanut butter cookie mix (Krusteaz, obviously!), marshmallows, and cereal and cashews coated in a sweet butterscotch syrup.
These bars are great for many reasons, not the least of which is their phenomenal taste. They slice beautifully and travel well. Being sort of semi-homemade, they come together quickly and easily. There's a lot of room for creativity, as you can alter the cookie base, the type of nuts, and/or the flavor of morsels. In other words, find an excuse to make these immediately!
Chewy Cashewy Bars
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Makes anywhere from 24 to 36 servings, depending on your appetite
- 1 box Krusteaz® Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 (11-ounce) bag butterscotch chips
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups crisp rice cereal
- 2 cups salted nuts (I used mostly cashews, with some almonds to balance out all the cashews I ate before they could be mixed in...)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In large bowl, stir cookie mix, water, egg, and oil until soft dough forms.
Press dough in pan using floured or greased fingers.
Bake the cookie crust 12 to 15 minutes or until set.
Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over crust; bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or until marshmallows begin to puff.
In a medium saucepan, cook the corn syrup, butter, and butterscotch chips together over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted.
Remove from heat; stir in the vanilla, and then add the cereal and nuts.
Immediately spoon cereal mixture evenly over marshmallows.
Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into 9 or 6 rows by 4 rows.