Friday, March 25, 2011

Vadis Bars

I recently purchased the baking book," The Art of Fine Baking", by Paula Peck.

I bought it off Ebay -very cheaply. I did not know anything about it, but it "looked  and sounded good" . The introduction by James A. Beard. The contents - Basic cakes and Mixtures, Frostings, Pound cakes, Torten, Cookies, Coffee cakes and so on. I was happily surprised when I received it. The book is 311 pages and jam packed with recipes, and some step by step pictures. There are classic recipes, and some unusual variations. Like this one below, for Vadis Bars.

I had never heard of these bars. A Google search -nothing. However, I was intrigued by the tart dough and the use of the hard boiled egg yolks. I also was dying to try the butter crunch topping. It looked easy and simple..and of course I had all the ingredients on hand.

Vadis Bars
1 recipe for rich tart dough
1 recipe butter crunch topping

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F 

Prepare a 9x9 square cake pan. Butter bottom of pan and parchment bottom and up the sides.

Prepare Butter Crunch topping -Reserve

Prepare rich tart dough according to recipe, and press into a smooth layer into prepared pan. 
Bake for @ 20 mins.

After 20 mins spread reserved Butter Crunch topping into rich tart dough and bake for another 10 mins. Until topping is bubbling. 

Cool slightly. Lift  out bars with parchment paper.  Cool completely and cut with a greased knife into small bars.

Rich Tart Pastry


2 cups sifted all purpose-flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup unsalted  butter- chilled but not ice cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of zested lemon peel
3 hard cooked egg yolks, mashed.
2 raw egg yolks


Sift flour, salt and sugar. Place in food processor. 
Add lemon zest and butter. Pulse a few times until the butter/ flour makes a course crumb. 
Add hard boiled yolks and raw yolks and pulse until dough comes together into a ball.

Press into prepared 9x9 prepared cake pan with lined with parchment. ...continue to follow Vadis directions

Butter Crunch Topping

1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups slightly toasted hazelnuts (or almonds) 
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan /pot.
Warm over a low/slow heat until sugar melts and turns golden brown. Do not stir. 
Add cream and butter. Stir until smooth. Mixture will pop and bubble. 
Add nuts. Set aside to cool. Stir in vanilla before using. 

Follow continued Vadis preparation....

I loved these bars. The dough comes together so easy. No sticking and easy to press. The butter topping is like it describes. It seems to be a caramel- but it is more buttery in flavor. I think the added lemon gives the bars that "old world Italian flavor" with the mix of lemon and hazelnut. I am sure you could use water instead for the topping, and omit the zest in the tart base.

Of course you could use the tart base ...for a TART!  LOL  I think it is a nice alternative to your pate sucre...etc..


  1. Congratulations on your Vadis Bars! They look wonderful in the photos. I've been making these for years. Although they are relatively unknown, they are always well loved by guests. I just posted the full recipe on (no pics yet).
    --Food Beast

  2. Gosh, these look amazing. Never heard of them before, but they sure are up my alley.

  3. Thanks for the post! Paula Peck was my grandmother. I just recently started a blog to document testing and updating her recipes, including some unpublished ones. Thanks again.