December 21, 2010

Sweet Meats

First, a clarification: there is no meat in this recipe despite the deceitful name. However, these tasty treats are sweet, so at least a portion of the recipe's name is accurate.

But who really cares about the recipes name anyways? I mean, in a way it could matter. If I hadn't grown up devouring these sweet confections my mom baked up every year around the holidays I would be cautious trying something with the title sweet meats. Even now, I still get the question '"is there really meat in those? They look too good to have meat in them!" No meat. Simply delicious. Extremely addictive.

The shortbread base made of only brown sugar, butter and flour somewhat caramelizes while baking in the oven, leaving you with a soft, sweet, chewy, and super butter crust that makes you wish you could just eat the crust by the spoonful. And the topping. Let's just say this little wahoo never liked walnuts, and then I had sweet meats. It was love at first bite. Or should I say mouthful. The delicate sweetness of the coconut paired with the rustic walnuts come together for a crunchy yet chewy, sweet with a hint of salt, perfect topping. What could be better?

Sweet Meats
From The Silver Palate Cookbook

For crust
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups light brown sugar
1 2/3 cups flour

For filling
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded coconut

Make crust:
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9x13 metal baking pan. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour in three batches, incorporating well after each addition but being careful not to over mix after the final addition. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Make filling:
While the crust is baking, make the filling. Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add in the flour, and mix well until there are no white streaks or clumps. Fold in the walnuts and coconut with a spatula.

Pour on top of the crust after its removal from the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 additional minutes or until the topping is set. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and serving.

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