Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Amazing Disappearing Treats: Bouchées aux noix or Nutty Nibbles

Bouchées aux noix
When we lived in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, we had a lovely neighbour named Odette who shared a few recipes with me. By far the most popular on was the recipe for these treats, which she called Bouchées aux noix, which roughly translates to Nutty Nibbles.

These bars may be the least healthy treats I've ever shared with you, but they are absolutely delicious.

Today, I'm sharing the recipe and some tips I've learned the hard way.


Bottom Layer
2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter
6 tablespoons sugar

Top Layer
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups, total, of "filling" such as

  • chopped nuts
  • chopped maraschino cherries
  • shredded coconut
  • chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Using a food processor or a pastry cutter, combine the ingredients for the bottom layer. Note: the fat must be cold and hard. If you substitute margarine, use the brick margarine, not the spreadable kind. If you use soft margarine or butter, you will end up with a glutinous mess that will be difficult to spread in the pan.

It should look like this.

(The lumpy bits are because I substituted soft margarine for
half of the fat because I was feeling cheap, even though I knew better.)
Using clean hands, spread the crumbs over the bottom of an ungreased jelly-roll pan (which I used to call a cookie sheet, but it needs to have raised edges). My pan measures 15" x 18". If you use a smaller pan, the layers will be thicker.

With the palms of your hands, press the crumbs gently into a relatively firm layer. (You'll find that you can't press too hard or the crumbs will just stick to your hands.)

Bake at 400 F for 5-8 minutes.

The little holes are because of the water from the soft margarine turning into steam.
Another reason to use good, cold butter.
While that is baking and cooling, combine the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt.

Fold or stir in your "filling" ingredients. I used 1 cup of chopped nuts, 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. (The original recipe just called for nuts and coconut, hence it's name.)

Important: This step usually takes long enough that the bottom layer has cooled. If it hasn't, then leave it a few minutes until it has cooled, otherwise, the "cookie" layer will be too fragile. Also, the chocolate chips will melt.

Carefully spoon the goopy layer on the cooled bottom layer. Don't worry about covering it completely just yet.

With a spatula, gently push the goop to cover the bottom layer evenly.

If the crust had still been hot, those chocolate chips would have melted when I tried to spread the filling.
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 400 F.

The filling should be a golden brown and NOT at all jiggly in the centre. (This is really only an issue if you use a smaller pan and consequently thicker layer of topping.)

DO NOT CUT IT. It will smell like the elixir of the gods, and you will want to shovel it into your mouth. RESIST! Go for a walk. Read an engrossing book. Play with the dog. Do anything but cut into the bars until they are cooled to room temperature. If you don't wait, you will just end up with a globby, ugly mess. (It'll still taste great, but you won't want to serve it to guests.)

Now, here's the fancy part: you're going to cut them into diamonds.

First, cut the diagonal lines. (I use a pizza cutter.)

Yes, I had to put the pan on the floor in order to get this picture.
Then cut the intersecting lines parallel to either of the pan edges.

I could probably have waited a bit longer; the chocolate chips are still soft.
And you will have something this:

The chef has dibs on all the wonky edge-pieces.
As always, my lines are not terrifically parallel, nor are my widths consistent. I always start out making small bars, but then get impatient.

And that's it!

The fork is just for show. I used my fingers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What did you think? Any comments?

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...