August 25, 2021
I think what makes this dessert magical is that you use salted, roasted mixed nuts combined with honey and sugar in the caramel. The salty, sweet combination is a favorite of mine, and takes this tart to a new level. It is definitely dessert for sharing as it makes many squares of caramel goodness.
This sweet treat has a buttery crust (no rolling out), and these incredible caramel coated nuts that sit in the same sweet syrupy caramel. It is a cinch to put together. The crust comes first and while the crust is par baking in the oven you have time to cook up the nut mixture. Heaven on a crust. That’s what I should call it.
When I was playing around with the recipe I ended up with too many nuts that I had drenched in caramel sauce! No loss! Those salty cashews, macadamias, almonds, and pecans, gently sugared were the perfect snack. I was thinking that they may even be a recipe on their own!
Caramel Nut Tart
For the Crust
13 tablespoons (1 stick + 5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons canola oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
For the Filling
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk (I used whole milk)
3 1/2 cups salted, roasted mixed nuts
To Make the Crust
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray with baking spray a 9 x 12 inch baking tray with a small lip or edge. Line with parchment paper, making a sling so tart can be lifted out later.
Using a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and oil and beat until well combined, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary.
In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix into the butter mixture until it comes together in a ball. Press the dough with four fingers into the base and sides of the prepared baking tray. You may need to use the palm of your hand to spread the dough out.
Poke the dough all over with a fork, (see photo) and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
While the crust is in the oven, make the filing.
To Make the Filling
Combine the butter, granulated sugar, honey, vanilla and milk in a medium pot. (Large enough that you can also add the nuts to it later.) Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring continuously. Add the nuts and continue to stir, simmering for a few minutes longer, or until they are well coated.
When the crust comes out of the oven, place the pan on a larger baking sheet, so you don’t get any caramel drips in your oven. Pour the hot nut mixture onto the crust and spread evenly with a wooden spoon. It’s okay if some of the caramel seeps behind the crust, it will soak in. Return the tart to the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool completely. Remove tart from the pan with the parchment paper and cut into squares.