December 14, 2012
I have a confession. I may or may not have eaten an embarrassing amount of Hershey's candy cane kisses yesterday.
Oh come on. Do you really think I ate all those by myself? No, wait...don't answer that. But let's just say I had, can you blame me?
Look how pretty they are.
While I did eat one or two, ahem, let's just say an indeterminable amount. Most of them went into making these puppies. I call them Candy Cane Kiss Shortbread Bars. A buttery shortbread crust, a layer of toasted macadamia nuts and melty candy cane kisses, make these bars delicious.
Candy Cane Kiss Shortbread Bars
Yield: 16 bars Printable Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
2 (10-oz) bags Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses
Preheat oven to 350 F. In an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 pan. Spread the chopped nuts evenly over the crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Place the unwrapped candy cane kisses in a blender or food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Spread the candy pieces evenly over the hot crust/nuts layer. Allow to sit until the heat from the crust has melted the candy. You may need to use a spoon to evenly spread the melted candy. It doesn't need to be smooth, just make sure all of the crust is covered.
Allow to cool in the refrigerator until the candy has hardened and set back up. Cut into bars. Eat and enjoy!
I experimented with several ways to spread the candy on the crust. Spreading the blended pieces was the best way to keep the pretty swirly effect of the candy cane kisses, while getting even coverage. Melting the candy beforehand then pouring over the crust will result in a solid pink candy layer, rather than the swirled effect. Also, when cutting the bars, make sure your knife goes all the way to the pan and your cuts are clean. Otherwise the candy layer will separate when trying to remove the bars.