This looks like a piece of cake but it is really a dense bar cookie, all dressed up to look like cake. It sure is good, too!
Before we get into that I wanted to visit with you a little bit. It’s only Wednesday but goodness, what a wonderful week it has been since I sent my newsletter out Saturday. And I gotta tell ya, I didn’t see it coming. I’ve just had a week of encouragement. Emails in response to my newsletter, Facebook posts, comments, it’s like it has all been divinely orchestrated to encourage me and get my head back in the game. You probably didn’t know that I needed that but the big guy did and I sure am grateful that you contributed to the process. 🙂
As we finish up October and head into November, I’ve almost got all of my Chrismas shopping done and I sure am glad. You know how you get those feelings in your gut? Well this year I just felt like I needed to get Christmas taken care of as soon as possible so that we’d have Christmas should anything happen. Maybe it was my great grandmother’s heart connecting with mine. She always tried to take care of Christmas throughout the year, saving green stamps and putting change back. I’m actually hoping to wrap most of the presents this weekend as well. That will be such a relief, to know we have Christmas and be able to focus on the experiences of the season instead. Maybe that was why my heart felt called to plan ahead. Either way, as a result I’m looking forward to a simple Christmas this year. I am writing a post on that right now and hope to have it up in a few weeks – once we are far enough into the season that folks won’t balk at a Christmas post 🙂
Speaking of which, did I mention that I’m giving away 100 appliances as my big annual Christmas giveaway? Yup. Seriously. Head over to that post and enter when you’re done reading this one. I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post for ya.
In other daily news from the Jordan household, Katy and I have started our penmanship course. She thought it was just for her but was pleasantly surprised to see me running off two copies and sitting down beside her to practice each day. She is at the perfect age to learn a pretty cursive script and my handwriting is atrocious. My mother’s generation and those before her always had such beautiful handwriting and part of this is because penmanship was taught in school back then. I’m hoping to be able to give the gift of a beautiful hand to my daughter – and it certainly can’t hurt me to improve! I’ve been practicing as I sign Christmas cards and even posted a few photos on my instagram. I’m signing several a day and hope to be done in a week or two. My handwriting is nowhere near pretty but it is definitely legible, which is a huge improvement for me :).
Ready to cook? Let’s go hop in the kitchen! Last one in has to do the dishes!
You’ll need: Baking mix*, Oats, Butter (or margarine), Brown Sugar, Pecans (optional), Vanilla, Carrots, Cinnamon, Ginger, Allspice, Eggs, and Raisins.
*For baking mix you can use Bisquick, Pioneer Brand, Generic like I have pictured, or even my recipe for homemade Better For You Baking Mix that is in my Come Home To Supper cookbook. I try to keep a batch of it in my fridge but we go through it so fast that I never seem to have it when it comes time to do a post!
Put your butter in a large mixing bowl and melt it however you feel led to do so.
I felt led to the microwave…
Dump in your baking mix, brown sugar, eggs, oats, and spices.
Note: Actually measure out your baking mix. I tend to eyeball mine so sometimes my bars are a little on the dry side when I put too much in. I should measure things more often. I’m sure I will resolve to do that after this post…and for about five minutes I’ll be sincere and even adhere to that resolution. Then I’ll decide they are good either way and get over it.
If you end up with a dry-ish mixture, just add 1/2 cup milk 🙂
Stir that up real good with a big spoon.
Shred your carrots.
The traditional way of doing this is to use a grater but I didn’t feel like digging for mine so I just peeled them and kept on peeling until I had this. When I got down to a little carrot nub I gave it to Zoey. I’ve never seen a dog like carrots like she does.
Then I chopped that up a bit.
Toss that on top of your dough along with the raisins and pecans.
I miss the old days when pecans were affordable enough to be able to snack on them. I do actually have two huge pecan trees in my yard but have yet to get a single pecan in all the years I’ve lived here. Part of the problem is my fat and happy squirrel population and another problem is that they aren’t the best producers. I need to put something on the soil around them but I’ve ready varying reports of what, when to apply, and where to get it. If any of y’all know what this is and where it is readily available, give me a holler in the comments and maybe I can end up with some pecans after all :).
Stir that again until it is well mixed.
See this? It was taken in my back yard. How beautiful is that? The fog was rolling in and made it feel like I was in the Smoky Mountains. This scene is what I’m talking about when I talk about getting outside to put your problems in perspective. I look up and see how much bigger than myself it all is and all the trivial issues I’m dealing with seem to shrink back down to their actual size.
We weren’t meant to live our lives under roofs and surrounded by walls and when we reduce our world to that tiny space, of course small things seem bigger and we lose our sense of the true scale of life. This is why some of my best therapy consists of walks outside. God can reach me so much more readily there – because that’s where I really shut up and listen.
Pat this out into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until golden.
Now, ice it with cream cheese icing.
You can see a tutorial on how to make cream cheese icing by visiting this post. But all you do is put all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, mix really well, scrape down sides, and mix again. Instructions are in the recipe below 🙂
After icing, I like to sprinkle some pecans over top.
Now see this serving size? This is for pictures, folks. Don’t cut your pieces this big. This is a big old chewy brown sugar and butter cookie bar iced with cream cheese icing. If you eat this big old whomping piece you’d likely die of sugar overload. Now I’m not saying that isn’t a good way to die, but it isn’t your time yet. Cut a smaller piece – or cut this size and spread out the eating part a bit.
And when you start feeling guilty remember, this has vegetables in it 🙂
- 1 cup old fashioned or quick oats
- 2 cups brown sugar packed (I use light or dark, whatever I have on hand)
- 4 cups all purpose baking mix
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Sticks butter or margarine melted
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 +1/2 cups grated carrots
- chopped pecans 1/2 cup for batter 1/2 cup for top
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temp
- 1 stick butter or margarine at room temp
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
- Combine baking mix, sugar, oats, and melted butter in large mixing bowl and stir by hand until dough is formed.
- Stir in carrots, raisins, and pecans until well mixed. Pat into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly golden all over the top. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To make icing
- Place softened butter and cream cheese in large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. Slowly add sugar, a cup or so at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and lemon juice as well until well blended. Ice cooled bars.
Okay so we’ve covered a lot of things in this post so I’m gonna do a recap:
- Anyone know about the stuff to put around pecan trees to up production and where to get it (readily)?
- Also, how far along are you on your Christmas? Do you have plans to simplify this year and if so, what are they?
- And that sweet lady that I met at Becoming who works in Knoxville and reads my posts at work…if you see this will you leave a comment so I can shoot you an email? You gave me a letter. Yes, you 🙂 You also gave me your business card but you’ve been reading me long enough to know that organization is not one of my spiritual gifts:).
- Don’t forget to visit my big Christmas giveaway! 100 Appliances are up for grabs. I start drawing winners next week and will give away ten appliances each weekday for two weeks. Get your daily chances in now by clicking here for details.
“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege. “