Entry #1: Pecan bars submitted by Susette Kruckeberg of Versailles First-place winner, Dayton Daily News holiday cookie contest 2012 STAFF PHOTO BY LISA POWELL
Photo: Lisa Powell
Photo: Lisa Powell

Pecan bars

This is one of the 15 top entries in the 2012 Dayton Daily News Holiday Cookie contest selected to share with our online and Pinterest readers. Happy baking!

First-place winner: Pecan bars

Susette Kruckeberg, Versailles

Pecan bars (Makes 60 cookies)


For dough

  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons of butter
  • 1¾ cups of all-purpose flour

For topping

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1¼ cups of packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup of honey
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 2 cups of chopped pecans
  • 1 cup of pistachio meats
  • 1 cup of dried, chopped cranberries


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a 9-by-13 inch pan with foil.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the sugar and 12 tablespoons of butter until creamy.
  • Mix in flour on low speed until well combined.
  • Press the mixture — it will be crumbly — into the prepared pan. Prick all over with a fork; then, bake for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool, but leave oven on.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, bring the butter, sugar, honey and cream to a boil. Simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture reads 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  • Stir in pecans, pistachios and cranberries.
  • Pour the mixture over baked crust; then, bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the mixture is bubbly all over. Let cool completely.
  • Use foil to lift the entire slab from the pan. Cut into bars.

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