Brown Butter Bars

By • November 30, 2015 3 Comments

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Author Notes: Inspired by Brown Butter Dried Fruit Bars by Emily Luchetti.
I'm sharing this recipe in memory of "Dukee" our small Pomeranian who we've recently lost. He was not "just a dog" but was a beloved member of our family. Dukee used to sit right by the entrance to the kitchen whenever I baked anything sweet; he used to love the aroma of butter, eggs, and sugar baking.
This is a unique recipe which is nothing short of delightful. My youngest son said that these holiday cookie bars have the taste and texture of all three - a cake, a cookie, and a biscotti.


Makes 20 bar cookies

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water, or 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (green) powder, optional
  • 1 3/4 cups 2 tablespoons of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup raw pistachio (blanched and skin removed, optional) sliced into halves
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar for dusting, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lay parchment paper into a 9-inch square baking pan. Grease the parchment paper with a little unsalted butter. I followed the Food 52 tip to lay the parchment paper -
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Continue to cook with continuously scraping the bottom of the pan until the butter gives a nutty aroma and turns light golden brown. The whole process took about 7 - 8 minutes. The continuous stirring leaves the brown bits dispersed throughout the butter instead of it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Besides, it adds a unique flavor to the cookie bars.
  3. Pour the browned butter into a large bowl, and then add the sugars. Mix it for 3 minutes with a hand-held mixer. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, orange flower water, lemon juice, cardamon powder until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture (step 3); mix with a silicon spatula until well blended. Stir in the cranberries and pistachio halves.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan; smooth the batter with an offset spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.
  6. Let cool to room temperature, and then lift the edges of the parchment paper to pull the treat out of the pan. Trim the edges evenly, then cut into about 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" squares. Dust the tops with confectioners' sugar before serving.
  7. The recipe would yield about 60 cookie bars if one were to cut it into about 3/4 by 1 /2 inch bars.

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