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