Baking with B: 7 Days of Christmas Treats: Date Pecan Bars

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One of the worst things you can ask a baker to do is to make a recipe and then leave it alone, but trust me when I say that leaving these bars for a couple of days and giving them some space just might be the best thing you can do for them. The flavor soaks into everything, the topping solidifies and the result is a rich, nutty bar that I literally could not stop eating. (That is, of course, once I gave myself the chance.)

Date Pecan Bars (makes 36)

1 c. dates, chopped

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. butter or margarine

3/4 c. boiling water

1/4 c. dark rum (or 2 tsp., 10 mL rum flavoring plus 1/4 c. water)

1 egg

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Place dates in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with baking soda and stir a bit to distribute. Add butter and boiling water. Continue to stir until butter has melted. Add rum, stir and set aside.

In small bowl beat egg, sugar and vanilla together well. Pour into date mixture. Measure in flour and baking powder. Stir well. Spread in greased 9×9-inch pan. Bake in 350F oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and spread with topping. Return to oven.

Topping:

1 c. brown sugar, packed

3 tbsp. butter or margarine

3 tbsp cream

1 c. chopped pecans

Crumble all ingredients together in bowl. As soon as you take squares out of the oven, spread over the top and return to oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool. Cover with tight plastic or foil and put on an out of the way shelf in your cupboard so it can mellow out for a day or two.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50

Last year I counted down to Christmas by baking seven different types of Christmas cookies as per my favorite Swedish holiday tradition. This year I’m making it a thing, and sharing seven more delicious recipes with you. For more inspiration, you can check out more of my baking here. For even more recipe inspiration check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Classic Pecan Pie

I have this theory that we date the same people over and over again. Some attribute this phenomenon to a psychological need to look for partners that emulate our parents, but I’m convinced that there are also certain things that attract us to certain people, and make us attractive to others in turn. For example, I inexplicably keep on finding these guys who list pecan pie at the top of their favorite desserts and it is for this reason that I have made this pie more than any other. Go figure.

Classic Pecan Pie

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 c. brown or white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 c. light corn syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 c. pecans, broken in pieces

Set the oven at 450F. Line a 9″ pie pan with your preferred kind of pastry (I have a recipe on how to make a traditional pie crust here; however, for this recipe I would recommend using something more like a pressed graham-cracker crust. You can make it yourself or find them pre-packaged at the grocery store.) Mix ingredients and pour into pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake 35 minutes longer. Chill. Serve with whipped cream and halved pecans for garnish. (Because yum.)

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-BFlower-50

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Date Squares

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Let’s make a date, shall we, for some mid-winter treats that serve up a nice hit of sweetness without being too unhealthy. When you combine dates with oats and pecans it’s practically like granola, which means I’m totally allowed to eat these for breakfast, right? Right? I dare you not to eat them as a meal, either.

Date Squares (serves 12)

1 1/2 c. chopped, pitted dates

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 c. orange juice

1 tsp grated orange zest

1 1/4 c. quick-cooking oats

1 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. chopped toasted pecans

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1/4 c. water

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine dates, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the dates are soft and the liquid is absorbed. Mash the mixture and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, combine orange zest, oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, oil and water in a bowl until combined. Pat half of the mixture onto the bottom of a greased 8″ square baking dish. Spread the cooled date mixture over top. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the dates for the third layer. Bake in center of the oven for 25 minutes or until squares are golden. Cool before serving.

B’s Tip: Who doesn’t like pecans? Ok, maybe you’re actually one of these crazy people that doesn’t. This recipe can still be salvaged. I’d be willing to substitute for walnuts, or maybe almonds. It’s too hard to decide! Your squares, your choice, and let me know how it works for you.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-BFlower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.