Y’all. It has been a while! How are you?! We are busy traveling NZ — heading from Auckland to Rotorua today by way of the hobbit move set! If you haven’t, you should tune in to my insta: livinginsugar.blog and in my highlights you can check out what we’ve been up to!
But anyway. Full Hawaii trip recap coming soonish but let’s talk about some cookies today! Almond Biscotti with Apricots and Currents to be exact.
Now these cookies are not your traditional, break your teeth biscottis. I actually am not the biggest fan of biscotti just for that reason, but these are delicious. Not overwhelmingly sweet and yes they are twice baked, these would be perfect for your thanksgiving breakfast, or second lunch — or just an in between snack with coffee or tea.
They also make the perfect transition from Turkey day to all this holiday baking I’ve been seeing — yes please! Replace the currants and apricots with whatever dried fruit you might like (cranberries anyone?!) and voila. A great holiday cookie for cookie swaps or gifts.
So go ahead, whip up these easy cookies and kick back over the holidays with a nice cup of coffee and treat yourself!
Sheet Pan Pie Bars -- Caramel Date & Pear
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. table salt
- 20 Tbsp. 3 Sticks + 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup ice water; more as needed
- 10 medjool dates chopped & pitted
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 Cup syrup from canned pears
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 Cup caramels I used Kraft Caramel Bits
- 2 Cans Pears in light syrup drained with liquid reserved
- 1 medium Apple
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
For the crust:
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt to combine, 15 to 30 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until it is about the size of walnut halves, 30 to 60 seconds.
Slowly add the cold water, and pulse to combine. Once the dough forms, turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough a few times, until it comes together.
Divide the dough in half and form the dough into a 2 rectangles about 1 inch thick, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; keep wrapped until ready to use.
For a parbaked crust, position a rack in the bottom third of the oven, and heat the oven to 425°F. Line a 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
On a lightly floured surface (or on parchment), roll out the dough slightly larger than the size of the baking sheet, about 15×20 inches. Roll the dough onto a rolling pin, and gently unfurl it onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the dough into the bottom and corners of the pan; it should come up the sides and just over the edge of the pan.
Use a knife or scissors to trim away any excess dough. Prick the base of the dough all over with a fork (a process called docking), and then chill the pan for about 30 minutes.
Place a piece of foil over the dough, and lay another large rimmed baking sheet on top. Bake the crust until the edges appear firm and set, and the dough becomes light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the top pan and the foil, and return the pan to the oven until the dough appears dry, 2 to 3 minutes more. Cool completely before using.
For the filling:
Meanwhile, finely chop the dates, removing any pits, then stir in with the sugar, liquid, and spices. Gently simmer over a medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the dates are almost tender. Stir in the caramel bits and continue to cook until the caramel is melted. Set aside to cool.
Chop the pears and apple into bite size pieces, and place in a bowl a toss with a pinch of cinnamon and 2 tbsp cornstarch. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Spread caramel date mixture evenly over the bottom of your par-baked and cooled crust and top with apples and pear mixture.
Use remaining dough to make lattice designs on top, securing to the par baked crust.
Brush with egg wash (1 egg & 1 tbsp water beaten) and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and firm and filling is bubbling slightly. Cut into squares. Delicious served warm or at room temperature.