A Southern Grace: nuts about nuts

October 20, 2014

nuts about nuts


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.


Alicia Foodycat said...

I adore cashews! Like you, I love all the nuts but there is something about a cashew...

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love nuts. They are so delicious, healthy and versatile.

Those bars are simply fabulous and irresistible.



Carolyn Jung said...

I don't think I've ever met a nut I didn't like. This bar looks so crunch-a-licious good. I like how you can vary the nuts, too, to suit your tastes.

Joanne said...

Picking a favorite nut would be like picking a favorite child! Too many to love. These bars sound plain awesome.

Angie's Recipes said...

We are crazy for nuts too. These cashew bars look divine!

Marjie said...

So you improved rice krispie treats! These sound good. I'm with you on loving cashews, roasted and salted, of course.

Joyti said...

I go through phases of having various nuts be a "favorite", personally :)

These bars look delicious!

Juliana said...

I too love nuts...and this chewy bar looks delicious...like the idea of adding rice crisp in it...
Have a great week Grace :)

vanillasugarblog said...

I'm with you!
I never say no to nuts, even those ugly big ones that no one ever eats! lol

Katerina (culinaryflavors.gr) said...

I love nuts too! These bars look chewy and crunchy! Perfect!!

Katerina (culinaryflavors.gr) said...

I love nuts too! These bars look chewy and crunchy! Perfect!!

Pam said...

I love all nuts but hazelnuts...weird, huh? These chewy cashewy bars look AMAZING!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I love all nuts, and now you have me craving for roasted salted cashews! And these bars :)

Barbara said...

Always love a nut discussion. My daughter loves cashews and I love pistachios. When we travel together, we take packages of them with us. Not as big a downfall for me as ice cream, but certainly more portable.
Your bars look gooey and nutty!

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I love nuts and am also partial to cashews. These bars look scrumptious!

~~louise~~ said...

I don't need an excuse, Grace. I adore cashews! As a matter of fact, I stumbled upon another interesting cashew recipe today that I must try. It's an Indian dessert called Kaju Katli (Kaju means Cashew:) It's pretty simple too.

As for your delectable Cashew Bars, oh yum and so easy peasy too!!!

I really love that October is National Nut Month. I just did a post about Walnuts. I only wish I would have started a Pinterest Board for Nut Month. How nutty of me, lol...I'll be saving this recipe though. It's too good to not bookmark! Thanks for sharing, Grace...

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

I'm nuts about your post :D
These bars look so delicious, I just want to devour them!

Choc Chip Uru

Beth said...

Oh my gosh, Grace, those bars look amazing!

sandy said...

I wish I could teleport one of those over here right now

I Wilkerson said...

Looks delicious Grace. I actually have pistachios, almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and pine nuts in my pantry, having recently finished off my hazelnuts in a batch of granola. So I am totally behind you on this.