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Spicy Corn and Jalapeño Bars

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
  • SERVINGS: makes 16 bars
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

These slightly spicy and very hardy bars are a great homemade alternative to packaged, tasteless energy bars. The crust is made with cornmeal, cream cheese, cayenne and chiles; the filling has sweet corn, fiery jalapeños and goat cheese.

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Pastry

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup cornmeal
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  7. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  8. 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  9. 4 ounces cream cheese
  10. 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Filling

  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cobs (2 cups)
  3. 2 jalapeños seeded and minced
  4. 1 tablespoon honey
  5. 1/2 pound fresh goat cheese (1 cup), softened
  6. 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, chili powder, salt, paprika, cayenne and pepper. Add the cream cheese and butter and pulse until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the corn kernels and cook over moderate heat until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the jalapeños and cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir in the honey and transfer to a bowl. Add the goat cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the chives, season with salt and pepper and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a well-floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-by-15-inch rectangle. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and carefully unroll it onto the baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  4. Spread the filling on half of the pastry, leaving a 1/2-inch border on 3 sides. Brush the border of the pastry all around with the egg wash. Fold the pastry over the filling and press the edges to seal. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, just until firm.
  5. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool. Slide the parchment paper onto a work surface and cut the pastry into 16 bars.
Make Ahead The bars can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.