Here’s another tribute to my dad’s favorite candy, the Zero Bar. I got the idea from this Zero Bar inspired cookie, where white chips, peanuts and almond extract mimic the flavor of a Zero Bar. Here, the same idea is carried over into a bar cookie. Does it really taste like a Zero bar? No! But the flavor combination was very good. The almond extract is what makes it special, so if you don’t use it you won’t get quite the same effect.
Then again, it’s a free country. If you want to leave out the almond extract, go ahead. If you do leave it out, I recommend increasing the vanilla to about 1 1/2 teaspoons. Also, make sure not to overbeat after adding the egg if you want a dense and non-cakey bar.
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (5.3 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups (6.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped lightly salted peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil and spray with cooking spray or line with nonstick foil.
- In a mixing bowl using high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in the egg, almond extract and vanilla, beating just until mixed. Do not overbeat. With mixer still on low, beat in the salt and baking powder. With a large mixing spoon, gradually stir in the flour. When flour is mixed in, go ahead and add the white chips and the peanuts; stir until blended. The batter will be very thick.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and pat it down flat. Bake on center rack for 25 to 28 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool completely (I like to cool and chill before cutting). Lift from pan and cut into squares.