Mrs J is always on the lookout for these cereal bar types of recipes and tried out this one that uses dried fruit. I got a notion some time ago that we needed some dried cranberries so I looked on Amazon and found a 5 pound box of them that looked fairly priced, then saw blueberries and cherries from the same source so I bought a box of each, thinking they would keep well enough. They do keep but we are happy to find recipes that help us use them up.We even found some of the whole wheat pastry flour the recipe called for at the local Kroger store. Mrs J tells me that she used 1 cup each of the blueberries and cherries, and 1-1/4 cup of the cranberries, and used pecans in the crust. She substitutes Splenda for sugar throughout.I worried that we would mess up the bars getting them out of the pan but they came out of it quite readily when inverted onto a board, note that you should let them cool down before you try this.
Josie, a commenter at Balloon Juice, put this recipe up in an open thread:
Graham Cracker Toffee
16 graham cracker sheets
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
6 oz. milk or semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Cover prepared cookie sheet with whole graham cracker sheets.
In saucepan, bring brown sugar and butter to a boil over medium heat. Boil for four minutes stirring constantly. Pour over graham crackers and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
After baking, Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of graham cracker and let sit for about two minutes. Spread melted chocolate with a knife. Sprinkle nuts over the top.
I made the recipe in 2 quarter size sheet pans because they were new and I really wanted to use them for something, anything!We used Kroger’s house brand crackers and I’m thinking they were sized differently than the ones Josie wrote the recipe for, but cover the bottom with crackers and you’ll be on the right track. I used way more chocolate chips than the recipe called for, at least twice as many or more, and I’m thinking that it would be better to melt the chocolate separately and then pour it over the toffee after it comes out of the oven, but these came out OK. I did put the trays with the chips back into the hot oven to help the melting.
When I’m expecting company for the holidays, I usually indulge in baking sweet treats that can be enjoyed with coffee for breakfast, at people’s leisure. I love a good coffee cake. Add pecans and I’m sold.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Pecans
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsps vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsps cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 ½ cup whole pecans
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsps orange juice
4 mixing bowls
Bundt pan, greased and floured
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Using a spatula, scrape the sides and bottom to make sure the mixture if fully combined.
For the streusel, crumble the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl (I use a fork or pastry cutter). Gently mix in pecans.
Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and place on a serving plate. Whisk the powdered sugar and orange juice together, adding a more OJ if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.
Mrs J and I had shopping to do today and as we stirred about in preparation to leave I noticed two over ripe bananas. I’ve never used our bread machine for banana bread but thought it would be nice to return to a great smelling house. I found a recipe geared towards our machine but it should adapt easily to other models. We subbed pecans for the walnuts in the recipe and added raisins and chocolate chips. Worked great!
This recipe seems a little more involved than many we looked at but they did turn out rather well. We made the brown butter frosting with Splenda and subbed a Splenda brown sugar blend for regular brown sugar. The recipe called for cooking the bananas down in the oven first although it seems to me just as easy to do it in a pan atop the stove. We are really liking the brown butter recipes we see for frostings. Browning the butter adds a lot of flavor.