Cashew Bars and a Trip to Goa

I went to Goa this month. Yes, be jealous. 

I went there for an award ceremony of my professional field, and you'd be happy to know, yours truly went up to receive a couple of awards. Truly, one of the greatest moments ever! I also came back tanned beyond recognition, with loads and loads of shells from the beaches, having eaten about all the proteins that the sea had to offer us, and having spent the kind of time that we, as part of usual life, we only think that may be one day we'll be able to enjoy. Take a look!

Pictured above left: Calamari and Baby Octopus in a Butter Garlic Sauce

I also came back with a good kilo of unshelled cashews, and a nice bottle of coconut rum. R tells me, it's really delicious. With these cashews, I made these buttery, caramelly Cashew Bars.

These bars was essentially a crumbly buttery shortbread with roasted cashews on a bed of salty butterscotch. The crust had the unmistakable and irreplaceable taste of salted butter. The butterscotch was lickable and I had it with toast for the rest of the week. I took a part of it to office and the box was wiped clean. It was one of the tastiest things I've made since like forever. Make this, it's one of the easiest things ever.

Butterscotch Cashew Bars (12 squares) adapted from I Heart Eating

You need:
For the shortbread-
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, preferably salted
  • A bit of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Tiny bit of salt, since the butter might have salt in it already.
For the topping-
  • 1 cup sugar. If you have dark brown sugar, nothing like it.
  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • a bit of vanilla extract
  • a bit of salt
  • Cashews, salted or at the very least, toasted. You could use pecans for this too.

The How:
  • For the shortbread crust, mix the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until well combined.
  • Mix in the flour until just incorporated.
  • Press crust into a pan, stick some fork holes into it and blind bake it for about 25-30 min at 180 celsius.
  • Remove the crust from the oven, and let it cool down a bit.
  • While it cools, make the butterscotch. Melt the butter and add the sugar just before all of it melts.
  • Stir till it looks like wet sand.
  • Keep a watch on it till it begins to feel more liquid. Keep a close watch, it must be soft brown in colour, and not dark brown.
  • Add the cream into it all at once, and whisk it till mixed.
  • Let the caramel boil on low for about 5-6 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  • Take it out into a bowl. Let it cool a bit.
  • On the shortbread crust, spoon out a little more than half the butterscotch, and make sure it goes to each corner evenly.
  • Sprinkle on the cashews.
  • Pour the remaining butterscotch on the cashews.
  • Bake at 180 celsius for about 10-12 minutes.
  • Take it out, let it cool, then cut into bars and enjoy!

The main work is involved in letting the beautiful buttery things cool down, and THEN eating it. It's a challenge, which I failed miserably.

So that's it. Enjoy these beautiful crumbly buttery bars and let me know how it goes!

Until next time!


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