Chewy Date + Walnut Bars

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I love a good chewy bar, like a brownie only without the chocolate – these are essentially blondies, rich with butter and brown sugar, which acts as a blank canvas you could add anything to. These are made with crunchy nuts and chewy dates, which are a winning combination.

Soft Medjool dates are most often found in the produce department of the grocery store, and have pits that are easy to remove, but mean they stay soft, unlike the hard bricks of dates you so often find in the baking section.

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I’ve made these with soft brown sugar, but one time when I was out I used turbinado – the result was still sweet and caramelly, with a slightly crunchy texture I loved. They’re so fast to mix together, they may become your new go-to when you need a quick dessert or comforting after school snack. (After all, there’s nothing like coming home to the smell of something baking.)

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Butter Tart Slice

Butter tart slice

Butter tarts are our all-time favourites, but we don’t always have time to make the pastry, roll, cut and fill individual tarts. Butter tarts in bar form is the perfect solution; this past weekend, having to bake for a gathering, they were quick to mix up and bake. And here’s a secret: when you’re making squares that have a sticky filling, like butter tart squares or lemon bars, if you freeze the whole thing in the pan before you slice them, they’ll cut much more cleanly. Let them sit on the countertop for 20 minutes to thaw – or if you’re bringing them with you, they’ll thaw en route.

Butter tarts are traditionally made with currants, but these call for coconut, raisins and/or pecans – a delicious combination on a buttery shortbread crust.Read More

Fantastic Fudge Brownies

BROWNIES
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Ingredients
  1. BROWNIES
  2. 1 CUP BUTTER 250 mL
  3. 2 CUPS SUGAR 500 mL
  4. 1⁄4 CUP COCOA POWDER 50 mL
  5. 4 EGGS, BEATEN 4
  6. 1 TSP VANILLA 5 mL
  7. 1 CUP FLOUR 250 mL
  8. 1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS OR PECANS 250 mL
  9. ICING
  10. 2 CUPS ICING SUGAR 500 mL
  11. 2 TBSP BUTTER 25 mL
  12. 2 TBSP COCOA POWDER 25 mL
  13. 2 TBSP BOILING WATER 25 mL
  14. 2 TSP VANILLA 10 mL
Instructions
  1. TO MAKE BROWNIES: CREAM TOGETHER BUTTER, SUGAR AND COCOA POWDER. MIX IN BEATEN EGGS AND VANILLA.
  2. ADD FLOUR AND STIR. FOLD IN NUTS. BAKE IN A GREASED13- x 9-inch (3 L) PAN AT 350°F (180°C) FOR 40 to 45 MiNUTES. TOP WILL APPEAR TO BE UNDERDONE (FALLS IN MiDDLE) BUT DON'T OVERCOOK. SHOULD BE MOIST AND CHEWY.
  3. TO MAKE ICING: BEAT ALL INGREDIENTS TOGETHER WHILE BROWNIES ARE BAKING. POUR ON TOP AS SOON AS BROWNIES COME OUT OF THE OVEN. IT WILL MELT INTO A SHINY GLAZE.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/

Pecan Shortbread Squares

Pecan Shortbread Squares
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Ingredients
  1. CRUST
  2. 1 CUP BUTTER 250 mL
  3. 1⁄3 CUP FIRMLY PACKED BROWN SUGAR 75 mL
  4. 1 EGG 1
  5. 1 TSP. LEMON JUICE 5 mL
  6. 3 CUPS FLOUR 750 mL
  7. 21⁄2 CUPS PECAN HALVES 625 mL
  8. HONEY BUTTER FILLING
  9. 3⁄4 CUP BUTTER 175 mL
  10. 1⁄2 CUP HONEY 125 mL
  11. 3⁄4 CUP BROWN SUGAR 175 mL
  12. 3 TBSP. CREAM 45 mL
Instructions
  1. TO MAKE CRUST: PREHEAT OVEN TO 350°F (180°C). THOROUGHLY MIX BUTTER, SUGAR, EGG, LEMON JUICE AND FLOUR AND PRESS INTO A 10 x 15″ (25 X 38 cm) EDGED COOKIE SHEET. PRICK WITH A FORK AND BAKE FOR 20 MINUTES. COVER CRUST WITH PECAN HALVES.
  2. TO MAKE FILLING: IN A HEAVY SAUCEPAN, MELT BUTTER AND HONEY. ADD BROWN SUGAR AND BRING TO A BOIL, WHISKING CONTINUOUSLY, UNTIL DARK BROWN, 5–7 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM HEAT AND ADD CREAM. MIX AND POUR OVER CRUST. RETURN TO OVEN FOR
  3. 20 MINUTES. COOL BEFORE CUTTING.
The Best of Bridge http://www.bestofbridge.com/
A KNIFE THAT CUTS FOUR LOAVES OF BREAD SIMULTANEOUSLY — A FOUR LOAF CLEAVER.