Halvah Fudge Bars 16.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

These unusual moist and fudgy bars may introduce pantry ingredients you haven't used before -- teff flour, date syrup and the dense sesame-paste candy called halvah -- but we're betting you'll find further uses for all of them.

You'll need a medium (10-inch) cast-iron skillet.

Make Ahead: The wedge-shaped bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Where to Buy: Date syrup is available at Middle Eastern markets. You'll find halvah on the kosher foods aisle of many supermarkets. Marcona almonds are often sold at supermarket cheese counters.


Servings:
16 large bars

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 16 large bars

Ingredients
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup date syrup (see headnote)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups teff flour
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds (see headnote)
  • 1 cup packed halvah (see headnote)

Directions

Place the skillet on the lower rack in the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Melt 16 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave on LOW; let it cool for a few minutes.

Beat the eggs until they're frothy in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using a balloon-type whisk). Add the salt, brown sugar, date syrup and vanilla extract, whisking until incorporated.

Whisk in the melted butter. Use a spatula to fold in the teff flour until just combined, then fold in the almonds to form a thick batter.

Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place the remaining teaspoon of butter in it. As it melts, brush the butter over the bottom and sides of the pan to coat. Spread half of the batter in the pan. Scatter the halvah over the surface of the poured batter (it will seem like a lot), crumbling it with your fingers as you go. Gently spread the remaining batter over the halvah, smoothing the top.

Bake (middle rack) for 40 minutes, until the edges look darker and are beginning to crack, and the center is just set; you want the center to be barely cooked through, almost like warm cookie dough.

Dislodge the slab while it's warm: Run a round-edged knife around the inside edge of the skillet to make sure the sides are not sticking. Slip in a thin, flexible spatula at several points to help release the bottom. Invert a 10-inch plate over the skillet, then invert the skillet, holding the plate tight to it, so the slab releases onto the plate (use oven mitts; you may need to go at this a few times.) Slide the slab onto a cutting board, then cut it into 16 wedges. Let cool completely.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Stir, Sizzle, Bake: Recipes for Your Cast-Iron Skillet," by Charlotte Druckman (Clarkson Potter, 2016).

Tested by Diana Maxwell.

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