Pecan Pie Bars


There is a monster living in our house….a pecan pie-loving monster. He only comes out when I make these bars. He looks a lot like my husband, but if any of these bars are within sight the monster takes over. He devours every last pecan crumb, and then disappears.

I made these pecan pie bars for Thanksgiving, and they were an instant hit. They are so easy to make! I prepped the ingredients while the turkey cooked, then baked them while we ate dinner. By the time we were ready for dessert, they had cooled. I really liked having small bites for dessert after eating such a heavy meal…people were more likely to sample all the desserts instead of having just one slice of pie. Normally I cut them into slightly larger squares, but this particular batch was being divided up for my cookie gift boxes.


adapted from 100 Best Cookies 2011
published by Better Homes & Gardens

Pecan Pie Bars

Yield: 16-20 bars

Pecan Pie Bars

Ingredients

1 ¼ c all-purpose flour
½ c powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ c unsalted butter
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 c chopped pecans
½ c packed light brown sugar
½ c light corn syrup
2 Tbs butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pat the mixture into an ungreased 9x9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until light brown.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup. Add the 2 Tbs melted butter and vanilla and stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly over the baked crust. Return pan to the oven and bake another 25 minutes, until filling is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/12/pecan-pie-bars/

 

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PB & J Bars

Peanut butter and jelly is one of my favorite sandwiches. In high school, it was what I made for lunch when I was in a hurry, and it still is. I go through phases where I HAVE to have a pb&j every day. I eat it mid-morning because lunch is too long a time to wait.

Because of my deep love of peanut butter, these bars are right up my alley. The are reminiscent of the sandwich. I also love them because they are 1) easy to make, and 2) easy to make a double batch of. This came in very handy when I was making goodies for Hubs’ private students. I only had enough time to pass them out to about half his students, but I plan on catching up with the other students very soon.


And because you can’t talk about peanut butter and jelly without bringing up this, here you go.

Adapted from Christmas Cookies 2010
By Better Homes and Garden

PB & J Bars

PB & J Bars

Ingredients

¼ c (1/2 stick) plus 2 Tbs butter, softened
¼ c shortening
¼ c creamy peanut butter
1 c packed light brown sugar
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ plus ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 c all purpose flour
Filling
10 oz jar grape jam (or whatever flavor you like)
Topping
¼ c packed light brown sugar
¼ c rolled oats (not instant)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. With a hand held mixer, beat the butter, shortening, and peanut butter in a large bowl until combined. Add the brown sugar, baking powder, salt, ½ tsp cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in flour until just combined. Press 2 cups of the cookie dough into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9” baking pan.
  3. Bake the crust about 10 minutes until set. Spread jam carefully over the hot crust; make an even layer. Add the oats, brown sugar, and ¼ tsp cinnamon to the remaining dough. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut in the remaining 2 Tbs butter. Mixture will be crumbly. Sprinkle over the jam.
  4. Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 15-18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. When cool, cut into bars.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/01/pb-j-bars/

 

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S’mores Bars with Peanut Butter Cups

These bars are one of my new favorites. They’re a cinch to throw together. I made them countless times during the holiday season and gave them as gifts. They are very mail-friendly. Hubs has a love-hate relationship with them. We are simultaneously sad when they’re all gone, and relieved that we won’t turn s’mores-devouring monsters anymore. Try them for yourself, and see how long they stick around.


One note: I experimented a lot with getting the marshmallows perfectly toasted. The broiler method toasts them very evenly. I also had good results with our little kitchen torch, although it was a bit more labor intensive, and required careful watching. The flame was very strong, and I frequently had to blow out marshmallows that accidentally ignited.

S’mores Bars with Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from Cuisine at Home, Holiday Cookies

1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c flour
Pinch of salt

15 mini-peanut butter cup candies
2 c mini marshmallows
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13×9 inch baking bap with nonstick spray.

Cream butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer. The mixture will look curdled. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, flour, and salt. Reserve 1/4 c of the mixture.

Press remaining mixture into the pan. The layer will be very thin. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven, and set oven to Broil.

Top the hot base with peanut butter cups, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Press lightly to adhere. Sprinkle the reserved graham cracker mixture in clumps over the top. Broil just until the marshmallows toast – only a minute or two.

Cool bars for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Coat knife with some nonstick spray to keep it from sticking when cutting.

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