Southern Pecan Blondies

The original recipe called these “Pecan Chewies”, but really, I’m from Canada and I had no idea what “chewies” were. They’re basically blondies, hence my changing of the name. But, these are darn good.So easy to make, all you need is one bowl and a 9×13 pan with some parchment paper. Everything gets thrown into the same bowl, baked up, and voila, we have some tasty pecan treats.I found the original recipe here, and they did not disappoint. They are soft and chewy on the inside, and slightly crisper around the edges. Everything you want in a cookie bar. I feel like they would also be even more delicious with the addition of chocolate chips, but that’s my inner chocoholic speaking.Either way, bring the South into your kitchen with these bars!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 24 bars, depending on cut size

1 c. butter, melted
2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix well.Add the flour, baking powder, and pecans, and mix again, making sure there are no white streaks or lumps in the batter.Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.Remove from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack before lifting out of the pan and cutting into bars.

Raspberry Smacks

I made these for a New Year’s Party as well, and they turned out very well. I had some homemade raspberry jam that my mom gave me, and they made the perfect filling for these squares.

There is a sweet shortbread type crust, a raspberry jam filling, and a brown sugar meringue on top. I saw a picture of these, and I wasn’t too sure about them, but I was so pleasantly surprised.

I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks – a Company’s Coming Sweet Treats book. It did not disappoint, even though I didn’t know what to expect. If you are looking for a new recipe to try that’s a little out of the ordinary, I would highly recommend this one!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 16 squares, depending on cut size

For the crust:

2 egg yolks
1½ c. flour
½ c. brown sugar, packed
½ c. butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt

For the filling:

1 c. raspberry jam (store bought or homemade)

For the topping:

2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 c. brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch square pan with foil or parchment paper.

To make the crust, whisk all crust ingredients in a large bowl until crumbly. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

Drop teaspoonfuls of jam over the bottom layer, and spread evenly.

In a medium bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites until frothy. Add brown sugar, in three increments, beating well after each addition, until stiff peaks form.

Spread meringue mixture over the jam. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Slice, and serve.

Peaches and Cream Bars

These are so reminiscent of both summer, and peach pie. They are so good, and pretty easy to make as well.The best part is that you can use both fresh peaches, or canned or jarred peaches. I had some jarred peaches, and I used them, and these turned out great. They were also easy because the crust and the topping are the same mixture, you just have to save a little bit of the crust and use it at the end.I found the recipe here, and they did not disappoint. If you are in the throes of the winter blues, go make these to bring back a little bit of sunshine!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 3 dozen bars, depending on cut size

For the crust/topping:

3 c. flour
1½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1½ c. butter, chilled and cubed

For the filling:

4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
¾ c. flour
Pinch of salt
2 lbs peaches, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the butter is evenly combined and the mixture is crumbly.Reserve 1½ cups of the mixture, and set aside. Press the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan, and press into a firm layer. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until at least 10 minutes.In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add in the sour cream, flour, and salt, and whisk again. Fold in the sliced peaches.Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust, and sprinkle remaining mixture over the peach mixture in an even layer.Bake in the preheated oven until top is browned and filling is set, about 45-50 minutes. Cool at least 1 hour on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Butter Tart Squares

Here is a Canadian classic… in square form! These are even easier than making butter tarts, because you just make one big batch. Paul was a little out of sorts, because he firmly believes that raisins belong in butter tarts, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I took the “optional” directive for the raisins.

These are so easy to make, and how could you go wrong with such a classic treat? I found the original recipe here, and as I said, the only thing I changed was to leave out the aforementioned optional raisins.

I made these for a New Year’s Party, and had a ton leftover, so we decided to freeze them and have them later. These were a hit, so go make them!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 3 dozen squares, depending on cut side

For the crust:

2 c. flour
4 tbsp. icing sugar
1 c. butter, cold and cubed
1-2 tbsp. cold water

For the filling:

½ c. butter
3 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. vanilla
¾ c. golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and icing sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until pea-sized lumps of butter remain. Add water as needed to get mixture to hold together when you squeeze a lump of it.

Transfer mixture to prepared pan, and press into a firm layer. Bake for 10 minutes.

Prepare the filling by melting the butter in a microwave safe measuring cup. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and the brown sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until smooth. Add in the vanilla and the vinegar, and whisk again. Stir in the raisins, if using.

Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling center is almost set – just a slight jiggle.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, and refrigerate for several hours before slicing and serving.