Pecan Pie Bars

Bites of goodness, instead of the pie.  We had two new dessert items on the menu for our Thanksgiving feast this year.  Kendra made the scrumptious cookies, Dulce De Leche-Filled Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies. Check them out on this blog under cookies.  I made these yummy bars.  Close your eyes and imagine freshly baked shortbread topped with homemade pecan pie.  Ok, open your eyes and start baking! We like this as an alternative to traditional pecan pie. Bite-sized and perfect.  






Ingredients For the Crust:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup confectioner’s sugar

For the Pie:
3 eggs
½ cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ stick butter, melted
pinch salt
2 cups pecans

Instructions For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350º. Mix together butter, flour, and confectioner’s sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
For the Pie: Beat eggs. Add sugar and mix. Add corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Mix in melted butter. Add pecans and pour onto crust. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. These may be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Sugared Cranberries


  • After three people told me about this sweet treat this week, I couldn’t wait  to try them.  Each friend had a slightly different variation.  The recipe I used comes from an old edition of Cooking Light.  They taste as good as they look.  The chrystallized cranberries will stand alone on a pretty plate or one friend served them with cheesecake.  They are my favorite treat of this holiday season.
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar (this can be purchased or simply run regular sugar through a food processor until super fine)
  • Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.
  • Note: The steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.

Fall Snack Mix

Fall football, day trips, camping,  fall parties at your child’s school, Friday night movies at home….Bring on the snack mix.   My family is a fan of anything that is a snack and mixed.  Sugary and Salty mixes are tops.  Adrienne made this wonderful mix last Fall for a trip to the Northwest.  We carried ziploc bags full of goodness all over the state of Washington.  As I pack for my annual trip to Seabrook, Washington….she made my day by bringing by a bag of this mix.  The snack mix and the memories it holds keep me coming back for more!  Enjoy and Happy Fall!


Fall Snack Mix

1 box of peanut butter Ritz

1 bag of mini- pretzels, any preferred shape

1 large jar of roasted peanuts (or any preferred nut)

1 bag of M and Ms

1 bag of candy corn

1/2 c. light corn syrup

1/2 c. butter

2 T. vanilla extract

1  t. baking soda

1 c. sugar

In a very large, sprayed roasting pan, mix together the pretzels, crackers, and peanuts.

In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar, butter, and corn syrup.  Over medium heat, bring ot a boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the heat and add the baking soda and vanilla.  Pour the hot mixture over the pretzel mix and stir to coat everything. 

heat in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Pour contents onto wax paper immediately upon removal from oven.  Let it cool for just a few minutes, and then start breaking apart the pieces that are stuck together ( leave some of the gooey peanuts stuck together because that’s the best part!)

Let it cool completely.  Put in airtight containers and add in the m and ms and candy corn (don’t add until the mix is cooled).  Mix together with your hands.     Keeps in airtight containers for several days.


Bananas Foster

I had this one night with friends in Austin and had to get the recipe. Yum!

Bananas Foster

1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla (optional)
1/2 t. cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup banana liqueur (optional)
3-4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup dark rum
Vanilla ice cream

Melt butter and sugar in pan until sugar dissolves over low-medium heat. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and banana liqueur (if desired) and bananas. Cook for about 5-6 minutes till softened and starting to brown. Add rum and cook till hot, then ignite. Serve over ice cream.

Layered Brownie To Die For

Before you look over this recipe, decide if who you are baking for is worth it.  You think we are kidding!   They are worth the extra effort.  When my mother-in-law, Barbara made these for us, we  felt the love.   Spread the love and make these for that extra special someone…..they are worth it.  The portions are bite-sized, therefore they make enough to freeze part of this recipe.  Barbara found this in one of Southern Living Cookbooks.  


Layered Brownie To Die For

Brownie layer
4-1 oz. unsweetened baking squares (she uses Bakers)
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. all purpose flour
Microwave choc and butter 1 1/2 minutes until melted, stirring twice while it is cooking.
Add in sugar and eggs and beat
stir in flour
Foil line a 9X13 pan and coat with cooking spray (Pam).  Spread brownie mixture into pan.  Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes.
Cool on wire rack for an hour or stick in fridge until cool.  While that is cooling. 
Vanilla Cream Topping
1 c. butter-melted
16 oz. package of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of half and half
2 t. vanilla
-stir until well blended and spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate 15-20 minutes
Chocolate Topping
5-1 oz. squares of semi sweet chocolate squares
1/4 cup butter
Microwave the chocolate and butter on high for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every minute.
Pour on top of Vanilla Topping. 
Refrigerate or Freeze.  Serve in bite size squares. 

The Best Brittle

Parents that drop off goodies in appreciation for teachers and school staff rank among the best.  I just happend to be working one day in the office at Truman’s school when  a sweet mom, Terri, dropped a plate of this very addicting brittle by for the office staff.  Thanks Terri for introducing me to something so delish that doesn’t have 10 ingredients.  A mix of  salty, sweet, AND  chocolate had me at hello. 

The Best Brittle

 2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

saltine crackers

1 (12 oz.) milk chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line 10X15 cookie sheet with foil. Make sure the foil goes up on each side of the pan a little. Grease foil with butter. Line pan with saltine crackers. Sometimes depending on crackers, I have to cut crackers on the edge into smaller pieces to fully line the pan. Melt butter and b. sugar and  bring to boil. After starts boiling, stir constantly for 3 minutes. Pour over crackers. I usually move mixture around to cover the crackers the best I can. The rest will spread out when in oven. Place in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately pour chocolate chips on top of caramel mixture. Let them melt and evenly spread. Place pan in refrigerator until brittle gets hard. Pull brittle off of foil and break into pieces. I recommend keeping in refrigerator until you are ready to eat. It is better when it is hard! ENJOY!

Honey Bars

Dorothy Whisenhunt, a dear family friend from Abilene, Texas, made these at Christmas 2003.  We were  addicted. The edge pieces are the best!

Honey Bars

Mix together:
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. honey
1 egg
3/4 c. cooking oil (Crisco vegetable oil)

Sift and add:
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. chopped pecans

Bake in greased and floured 9″ x 13″ pan @ 350 degrees for 20 to 25 min. DON’T OVERBAKE.

For icing, mix these ingredients and spread while cookies are hot:
1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. Mayonnaise (Light)
1 T. water

Cool and cut into squares or bars. ENJOY!!!


Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

I love this banana pudding.  It comes from the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC. Beware – it’s rich, but worth it!

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions!)
4 cups sliced ripe bananas

In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more.

Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours – or up to 8 hours, but no longer! – before serving.

I love this banana pudding. Please make it soon!