Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pecan Bars (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

I think I owe someone an apology.

Yes, it's Martha Stewart.

Did you think this was about my mysterious absence the past two weeks?

Well, it's not.

But I am truly sorry about that too.

I love posting.  And posting on time.  On schedule.

I'm an extremely organized perfectionist.  If I am too busy or too tired or the sun is too beautiful and is calling me to the outdoors, it kills me not to post.  But sometimes you have to live life, and if that means I need an extra nap or to get two shades darker by Sunday then I have to take a deep breath and just let it happen.

Apparently, I haven't had too rough of a time doing that as of late.  So I guess I'm cured there.
Back to Martha.

Ah, yes.  Martha.  We've had a rocky past.  I mean, I ripped her up pretty good when I posted about these Chewy Orange Almond Cookies.

Although, I have to admit.
She kinda deserved it.
They were grah-oh-sssss (gross :).

But then something happened.
Something too wonderful for words.

These pecan bars came my way.  And oh. ah my. ah goodness.  They are absolutely divine!!

Five stars guys.
I gave these 5 Stars.
That's how serious I am about them.

Kinda gooey, slightly crispy, crumbly, pecan-buttery goodness.  These are the kind of cookie bars you have to pawn off to your friends.

Because they are so good, you will eat the whole pan.
And then you'll get fat...
Because of all the butter,
So pawn them off to your friends so you can all get the same amount of fat together and still enjoy this incredible life-altering gift from Martha.

My once-enemy.
I'm usually a pretty good judge of character.

I feel like it's one of my stronger attributes.  But I guess I'm going to have to humbly eat my words here.

Hey, I said was was "pretty good" - not perfect!

I stumbled upon this recipe when my mom baked these around Thanksgiving.  She had gotten the recipe from a friend and was ranting and raving about how good they were.  Okay, mom.  Exaggerate much?

But one bite.  One bite.
That's all it took.
Twitterpation - to the nth degree.

So what a, small - yet effective, slap in the face when I realized where these had originally come from -Martha Stewart herself.  The Queen.  The Legend.

This can't be?!

Oh, but it was.  It. Was. 

And you know what? I'm okay with that now.
Because becoming friends with your once-enemy, creates stronger bonds than any other friendships I know of.

So how do you make up for a past public-bash of your new found friend?
With a now present-love letter, of course!
Dear Martha,

Rants are so much easier to write.  I get to be witty and funny.  And at someone else's expense.

Love letters are usually so cheesy and not funny at all.  Plus the only person who stands to be exposed is the lover not the lovee.

See the more I think about it, the more I realize I'm not going to be too good at this whole blog-love-letter thing, so I'll just cut to the chase.

Your Almond Cookies were terrible,
Seriously they were bad.
But your Pecan Bars incomparable,
I mean there was is drool.

So let's just make amends,
And resign to be great friends.

Even though you were the one who first put us in this mess,
I am not above forgiveness.

Love Your BFF,


Pecan Bars
from Martha Stewart

For Cookie Crust
  • 18 Tbsp of Butter (2 sticks, plus 2 Tbsp)
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 3 Cups of Flour

For Caramel Pecan Layer
  • 8 Tbsp of Butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 6 Tbsp of Honey
  • 2 Tbsp of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of Heavy Cream
  • 2 Cups of Pecan Halves
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Makes about 24 pieces
Need one 9x13in Pan
**Cooling Time Required Between Some Steps 
1) In a medium sized bowl, mix together 18 Tbsp of butter and 3/4 cup of brown sugar.  Beat on 
    medium speed for 2 minutes, until fluffy. 
2) Add flour to the mixture, 1 cup at a time.  Combine well after each addition. 
3) Dough is done when all ingredients are dissolved together and large clumps form. 
4) Press dough into the bottom of a 9x13in pan.  Make sure no clumps are remaining. 

5) Prick the crust with a fork so there are indentations all across the top.  Chill pan and dough in the 
    fridge until firm, approx 20 minutes. 
6) Place pan in preheated oven at 375F degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Cookie crust should be golden. 

7) Cool crust completely before completing next steps.
8) Reduce oven temperature to 325F degrees.  In a medium saucepan, melt 8 Tbsp of butter, 1/2 Cup
    brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, and heavy cream over high heat.  While stirring constantly,
    bring to a boil. Cook for another minute or so until mixture coats the back of the spoon.
9) Remove pan from heat.  Stir in pecans and vanilla.
10) Pour caramelized layer on to the cooled cookie crust.  Bake in oven until caramel top begins to
      bubble, approx. 15-20 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.

This is definitely the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Behind the Blog: Happy Easter and Lots of Rabbit

Happy Easter Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful day with your family and friends yesterday 
...going to church 
...enjoying the weather

My house was a feasting ground yesterday.
We ate...and ate..and ate to our hearts content. 

I know it's been awhile since I've written anything.  
I swear I haven't fallen off the edge of the planet!

So to help make amends, I decided to do a special post. 

One that's a little different than my normal postings, but that's okay because it's Monday and it's not my normal day!

Easter food, to me, is more than candy filled eggs.

I feel like it's the one holiday where there isn't a "designated" food.  Like the Turkey for Thanksgiving
or Watermelon for July 4th.  Each year can have a fresh focus.

And this year was different. for. sure. 

Guys, have you ever had rabbit?!

It's surprisingly sweet.

But we didn't just eat it, oh no.  
This Easter we made the meal a family experience.

Now I'm not big on cooking, in general, let alone starting with an animal, fully intact.  
I mean if you give it to me, I'll eat it.  
But I'm not too interested in dealing with eyeballs.

Eyeballs or not, though, I couldn't believe how much fun I ended up having after my initial apprehension.

So much, in fact, that I think it deserves a post. 

And it's super useful information. 

DISCLAIMER:  The following may be disturbing to some children.  

How To Prepare Rabbit

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-12

 Step 13

Step 14 (not pictured)

Oh, don't look at me like that. 

Happy April Fools Day!!