Thursday, December 17, 2009


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg (10-oz) English Toffee Bits OR Heath Bits 'O Brickle
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sliced natural almonds, divided
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides of a 13 x 9 x 2-in baking pan; set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Gradually add the flour, beating util well combined. Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Meanwhile, combine the candy bits and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until toffee is melted. This should take about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the almonds and 1/2 cup of the coconut. Spread the mixture to within 1/4-inch of the edges of crust. Sprinkle the remaining almonds and coconut over the top. Bake an additional 15 or until bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into squares or diamonds.

Yield: Approximately 36 cookie bars

Monday, December 14, 2009


1 cup chopped dried pears
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup dark rum
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps grated orange rind
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts

Rum Buttercream Frosting:

1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 tbsp dark rum (or 3 tbsp orange juice)
1/8 tsp salt

Place the pears, raisins, figs, and rum in a plastic zip-top food storage bag; seal. Turn to coat all the fruit. Let stand at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil allowing foil to hang over on the short ends. Butter the foil and dust with flour; set aside.

In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, and nutmeg.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the orange rind. Gradually beat in the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Stir in the walnuts and the fruit mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting: Beat the powdered sugar, butter, rum or orange juice, and salt in a large mixing bowl on low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Increase to medium speed and beat until of spreading consistency, about a couple minutes.

To remove from the pan, lift out by the foil. Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled bars. Cut into 24 bars. Decorate with sugar sprinkles or sqiggles of colored frosting.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Note: File Photo