Chewy Pear Bars – And Why I’m Thankful to God and Grandaddy :)


These chewy wonderful bars taste of butter, brown sugar, and graham cracker crumbs studded with bits of ripe and juicy pear. Oh my word, are they ever good! You really should make them today because even if you don’t have pears handy, you only have to buy two of them ~grins~. Eventually, I’ll get around to showing you how to make them in this post but right now, It’s disclosure time. Today’s disclosure has to do with the fact that I spent the first quarter century of my life being an idiot and how I owe a great deal of my happiness in this era to God and Grandaddy.

~Clears throat and begins~ 

*I was a complete idiot until the age of 25, and I’ve had numerous relapses ever since. Hang on to that, we’ll get to how this ties in with the rest of my story in a minute.  

This past weekend as I was working in the kitchen my thirteen year old son came in and was talking about a trip we had taken the day before. We saw the cutest St Bernard puppy outside the Tenenssee Aquarium and Brady said “Mom, when I have a family, I’m gonna get my kids a dog like that.” My heart just swelled up so big to hear my son talking like that “When I have a family….” and in my heart I thanked God and Grandaddy, because I knew in that moment how very much I owed them both.

Flashback to almost two decades ago… As a young twenty something, I lived with my grandparents while I went to college. I didn’t start college until I was 23 and I had worked very hard to be able to manage it. In my stubborn foolishness, I got it in my head that I wasn’t going to get married at that point. Having already had enough time to become frustrated with relationships, I decided that I’d just work on me and that would be enough. I had buried the desires of my heart because I felt they were impossible to achieve – and instead focused on something solid that could be earned by studying and steady tuition payments.

One evening at supper Grandaddy mentioned something about “When you have a family” and I guffawed at him as I said “Now Grandaddy, I’ve decided that I’m just not getting married. Here I am working so hard on my degree, once I finally get that, why would I want to take on a boarder?” I used those exact words. For explanation why, see the bold sentence at the beginning of this post*. I roll my eyes at the unadulterated ignorance of my younger self daily.

Grandaddy put down his fork and lowered his voice as he spoke, a pained look of concern in his eyes. “Baby, please don’t say that. I don’t ever want you to end up alone.” He looked right through to my very soul as he spoke and coveyed an understanding that told me he had been to the place he didn’t ever want me to go.

Grandaddy met my grandmother later on in his life after having traveled a bumpy road of his own. They’d become fast friends, fell deeply in love, and eventually married as he stepped in to be stepfather to her two girls, my mother being the oldest at thirteen. He was a wonderful, kind, and generous husband to his beloved new family, even my great grandmother, who came to live with them a year later when her husband passed away.

Grandaddy settled right into the family seamlessly, grateful for being so blessed to have them all. He had been alone and he knew the value of what he now had and he cherished every moment of it.

And in doing so, he showed us just how much there was to love in having a family.

This morning I called Grandmama and as the conversation turned to Grandaddy, she said “He sure did love all of us.”

My Grandaddy passed away a few months after that conversation at the supper table and I took his words to heart. Shortly after he passed away I met my husband, who reminded me of my Grandaddy in so many ways, and one year after we were married, I named my son after the man who’d looked me in the eye asking for assurance that someday have a family of my own.

Grandmama and Grandaddy passed on a love and appreciation of family that has not skipped a single generation and yesterday as my Grandaddy’s namesake stood in the kitchen talking about someday when he has a family…I realized that I’d been able to pass it on to – with special thanks to God and Grandaddy.

*Addendum: Grandmama went to join Grandaddy early in 2013. She sure did love all of us, but I know she sure was glad to be back with her beloved Jay.

 You’ll need: Baking Powder, Graham Crumbs, Dark Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Salt, Flour, Ginger, Eggs*, Butter, sugar, and pears. 

*Four eggs are pictured but you’ll only need three. I’ve been developing and tweaking this recipe for a bit and found it does much better with one less egg, but this is the picture I have so we’re going with it :)

For crust: Place sugar, graham crumbs for crust, and butter in a bowl and cut together with a pastry cutter or long tined fork until well blended.

Kinda like this. I usually go see if I can find something on tv while I cut butter into a mixture. I can never find anything on tv of course, so I end up just spending a few minutes cutting and staring at a channel guide and about the time I give up on finding anything worthwhile my crumbs are all ready to go and I can turn the tv back off. :)

Dump crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Press down into the pan with your hands and then place in 350 oven for 10-12 minutes, or until browned.

While that is baking we need to make our filling.

Just use the same bowl to mix your filling in, no sense in dirtying up another dish.

Place your flour, brown sugar, and graham cracker crumbs for the filling in the bowl.

Cut together with a fork until it is well combined – or until you get tired of fooling with it, whichever comes first.

Add in baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger and stir again.

Add eggs and vanilla.

Stir that up until it becomes a batter.

It is going to be awfully thick but as the brown sugar starts to break down it will become much more liquified.

Peel and dice your pears and stir those in gently.

The pear juice adds a lot of liquid as well.

Pour filling over your baked  crust.

Spread to the edges. Bake this at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, or until set in the center.

 

Voila!

 

Enjoy these chewy, buttery, brown sugary bars of goodness!

Chewy Brown Sugar Pear Bars

Chewy Brown Sugar Pear Bars

Ingredients

    For The Crust:
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For The Filling:
  • 2+1/2 cups dark brown sugar (Can use light if that is what you have)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup peeled and diced pears (about 2 pears)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, place crust ingredients. Using a long tined fork or pastry cutter, cut and stir ingredients until crumbly. Press into bottom of a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  2. While crust is baking, use the same bowl to combine brown sugar, graham crumbs for the filling, and flour. Stir well until flour is well incorporated. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, salt, and baking powder. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until batter is formed. Fold in chopped pears.
  3. Pour filling browned crust and spread to the edges. Return to oven and bake an addition 25-30 minutes, or until mixture is set in the center. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
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“I am seeking. I am striving.

I am in it with all my heart.”

~Vincent van Gogh

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Comments

  1. Lee says

    I have a ladies’ gathering tomorrow – now I know what to make & take! Looks WONDERFUL! And possibly a silly question here, since there’s all that butter in the crust, but does the 9×13 need to be lightly greased or anything? Thanks, Christy!

    • says

      Excellent question Lee! I made this several times in the course of getting it just right and half the time I greased my pan, half the time I didn’t. In the end, from what I experienced, it doesn’t make a difference one way or another.
      Hope you get to try them soon!!!
      Gratefully,
      Christy

    • says

      Hey Elaine! I think apples would work fine. I’ve been developing this one with pears because I was given a few laundry baskets full of them, but the odd thing is, the pears taste like apples in this recipe! lol I agree on the canned pears but I think you’re right on the money with apples!

  2. says

    Oh my this sounds good! I just happen to have a few pears left after spending the weekend peeling, coring, chopping and cooking down a 36 pound box of pears into Pear Butter and Pearsauce! I thought I never wanted to see another pear again, but I think this changed my mind lol! Thanks for another great recipe!

    • says

      hehe, you sound like me! I actually got a blister on my index finger from my paring knife from peeling so many! I still have a fridge full but I’m taking a few days off, then I plan on making some pear butter, too!! Thank YOU for being here, Peggy, and for being my “partner in pears” :)

  3. Vickie Shields says

    I was just making my grocery list since I have to replace the entire contents of my freezer and fridge that Hurricane Isaac stole from me when he swiped my power (and siding on my house) so I’ll be adding these ingredients to my list! Looks ahhhmazing!!

    • Mary Jane Heisterkamp says

      I hope Vickie has called her homeowner’s insurance company. I had lightning strike a while back and insurance covered the contents of my deep freezer.
      Reminds me to go around the corner and ask the lady for some of her pears. She lets them ruin on the ground every year. Preserves just waiting to be made.

      • Vickie Shields says

        Thanks Ladies! Yes, if we got one good thing out of Katrina it was a lesson in Insurance and freezer/fridges! This time we were able to get to the fridge by day 4 of no power – still better than the three week wait from Katrina!

  4. says

    I was just online last night searching for pear recipes! My husband’s aunt just loaded us down with a bag of fresh pears from her tree….needed to find different ways to use them all soon. I made a Pear Crisp last night from Pioneer Woman’s site…..this may just be on my next to do pear list! Thanks, it looks great!

  5. Daphne says

    Thanks for the recipe, I have a tree loaded with pears and have been making jam, jelly and preserves and working on putting up canned pear slices today . I had thought what else can I do with all of these pears, and your post had my answer. Thanks again ,looks absolutely delish!

  6. Diane M. says

    Christy,
    What a wonderful story, just loved it! It brought tears to my eyes because my Grandfather never got to see me get married and have my own family.
    Your recipe sounds so good. I look forward to making it. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Have a Blessed Day!
    Diane M.

  7. suzy says

    I was hoping to see a Pear recipe today. I made your pear butter, Yummm! I’ve made preserves also, but I still have many many more pears. Help!!!!!!! Keep posting those pear recipes. I love every recipe i’ve tried of yours. P.S. I hid my jar of pickled onions when it got down to the last little bit! ;) I loved the story about your Grand Daddy it reminded me of the way my Dad was as well.

  8. MARY ANN CHAMBERS says

    Hey Christy,
    My mom made this w/ apples & served w/ whippedcream for the ladies bridge luncheons–always a piece left for me for after school! YUMMMMMMMM!!!
    Christy, made your “anytime muffins” last weekend–1/2 of the recipe, put grated carrot, apple & dates. Oh my goodness–sooooo good!!!! 1/2 recipe made 24 muffins & a small loaf of bread.
    Don’t know haow you do all you do, but PLEASE keep it up!!!!!!!

  9. june copeland says

    Christy you are so right about it tasting like apples. I make lots of pear fried pies and everyone always thinks they are apple. I can pears and stand them up in the jars with the inside of the pear turned outward. I place a cherry in the center. They look and taste great. Christy I also lived with my grandparents from the time I was three years old. Grandma made bread every day and at least once a month, we had a “treat”. She would pinch off some of the bread dough and fry it – oh my – heaven when we would eat those with honey. Love all of your posts and will make this recipe soon.

  10. Joan Gautby says

    Well….Here’s my contribution to this here “worshop”….Okay, Okay….take it easy! Jest tryin’ to be cute!!…..Anyhow I jest discovered these pear things and haven’t tried ‘em yet….so RELAX. .. I jest wanna be cute…funny….friendly and lovin’!! I sure hope ya laugh…..’cause here it comes……. [By the way, I’m makin’ fun with my writing here. I am fibbing with the accent I’m using, .. I can`t tell you which area…..direction of anything else about where is might come from, because….HERE I Go….CONFESSION……I was born to a Canadian Ukrainian father, and an British, English Mum!!!! And I live in Southern Ontario, Canada!! Ha…Ha…..fooled ya, didn`t, right!! BUT HERE COMES MY QUESTION…….IF WE STORE EVERY RECIPE YA SEND US, CHRISTY……WHERE ARE WE GOIN`TO BUILD OUR RECIPE BARNS…….Sorry….NO QUESTION MARKS….can`t punctuate….Keyboard has gone nuts!!!
    Love to all!

  11. Mary Ann says

    Hi Christy…You have a big batch of pears there. :^)) Have you thought about freezing some of them? You can use the fruit stuff that stops yellowing. A neighbor used to put them up and use later for pear preserves or for uing anywhere apples were used such as apple cakes. They are delicious for such
    uses. No one ever knows you did not use apples. Take care!

  12. Cris says

    Christy,
    You really need to start to post a tear-jerker alert at the beginning of these wonderful stories…that way, I can at least have a tissue handy! Please don’t stop sharing your stories with us. Your memories touch us and remind us of OUR memories of loved ones. Thanks so much! Have a blessed day.

  13. says

    O.k., now I’m snifflin’ before bed. I so appreciate your gratitude for everything and those around you. It’s rubbed off and I can honestly say that the Lord uses you in my life to remember to be grateful. Tonight I’m thankful that you not only shared your memories but have reminded me of my Grandfather who was such a treasure to me. Thanks much Christie!

  14. Pam Elkin says

    I had a Nanny and Grandaddy. Oh, how they taught me about unconditional, unselfish, love for family and those around us. What a precious gift. That is what life is all about. I can feel the love as you talk about you Grandaddy..

    I saw the show tonight. it was great. i really love seeing you on there. It is great to have a wonderful friend who is a tv celebrity, cookbook author, etc!!! Pork belly! I had never seen that before. It really looked good. Now you need to share with us a recipe for pepper jelly. Do you use a pressure cooker a lot?

    When they made the cheese steak sandwich, I thought about your wonderful recipe. We make it all the time!! I hope that the girl’s burn was not too bad.

    Thanks for another great sounding recipe. And a wonderful, precious story/memory.

    Pam

  15. says

    What a wonderful legacy of love you have! Doesn’t it make you smile to think of your Granddaddy meeting his namesake in heaven?I love the way your stories can tie together ANY subjects! How blessed you are! Now, can you tie together dirty socks, sweet tea, temper tantrums, and your favorite “covered dish casserole” to take to church? LOL! I’m sure you can!

  16. Laura K. Carter says

    Christy, That was a beautiful story about your Grandaddy! I could not help but weep. What a beautiful family you have. Thank you for the encouragement in putting family as a high priority! My near 4 year old daughter and I found your reading of Giraffe’s Can’t Dance today, on my first visit to your site, and we sat down and watched it together. It was a blessing!

    I’m so encouraged by how God is using you here. Your website is wonderfully touched with what you love and your personality. I am embarking on a new chapter in my life, in more than one way, as God has given me the opportunity to be a Personal Chef. Besides some on the job experience and God given talents I have no formal training. A fact that admittedly makes me nervous. Yet, I know He equips the called, not calling the equipped. He can do anything…even through me. Still a bit scary though. Anyways, I hope my business can have touches of my loves and personality like your website.

    May God richly bless you and your dear family!

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