My fave easy holiday slice is the Angel Slice from the Joy of Cooking (p. 764 of the 75th Anniversary Edition). With a taste and texture akin to butter tarts, it’s a winner every year.
I never add the optional coconut because my husband has a textural dispute with the stuff. Instead, I’ve used all kinds of different dried fruits. Now that we live in Florida, I look for ways to bring the tropical to the holidays and have settled on dried pineapple, which offers chewiness with each burst of sunshiny sweetness.
To fit this slice in with the sweet ‘n’savory theme of our holiday party (the basic idea and menu, perfect for any New Year’s Eve event, is from Fine Cooking magazine and can be found here) I used salted butter in the crust and then sprinkled the warm topping with sea salt when it came out of the oven.
For the crust:
- 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
For the filling:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1.5 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp fine grind salt
- 1.5 tsp vanilla
- 1.5 cups toasted pecans, roughly chopped (To toast the pecans: bake the whole nuts in a single layer on a pan at 350 for 5-7 minutes,until fragrant, or put them in the oven while it is pre-heating and bake for 7-10 minutes. Either way, toss them several times so they don’t burn.)
- 1 cup dried pineapple, roughly chopped (substitute golden raisins or any other dried fruit)
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a 9×9 inch pan.
Make the crust in a medium bowl by beating together the butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla until well blended. Then add the 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour and stir until smooth.
Transfer dough to prepared pan and press it in evenly. Back for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling by beating together the following in a medium bowl: eggs, brown sugar, 1.5 tbsp all purpose flour, baking powder, fine grind salt and vanilla.
Stir in the toasted pecans and the dried pineapple.
Spread pecan mixture over hot crust. Bake 20-25 minutes until top is firm and golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a bit of gooey caramel attached.
Set the pan onto a rack. Immediately sprinkle the warm filling with the sea salt. When the slice is no longer scorchingly hot, press the sea salt down gently with your fingers so that it adheres to the surface.
Once cool, refrigerate for up to 48 hours before slicing and serving.
Slice into 5 strips width-wise and lengthwise to yield 25 squares.
Bite in and remember holidays past while toasting to the year ahead….What a perfect excuse for a bubbly glass of Cava!
Check out my other recipes that were inspired by Fine Cooking’s Sweets and Sparklers menu: Rosemary-Orange-Lemon-Curd Slice, White Chocolate Bark with Blueberries, Pine Nuts and a Zest of Lemon, Spicy Maple Cashews, and Cranberry Ginger Brie.
Also have a look at my reviews of some of the items from the Sweets and Sparklers menu: my review of Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt, my review of Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws, my review of Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds).