Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spice Bars with Pecans and Raisins

 At this point you might be "fussed-out" from rolling, cutting, decorating, and eating fancy cookies during the December baking season.  These Raisin Pecan Spice Bars  are a perfect January treat: they are simple to throw together and their warm spices, nuts, and dried fruit make them very welcome if you're caught in deep winter's chilly grip.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- The recipe from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri.  Since I am a (very lax) member of the The Modern Baker Challenge, and the group has agreed to not post the recipes baked from the book, I'm not including the recipe.  I can give you a glimpse of the ingredient list, though: all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, butter, dark brown sugar, sugar, eggs, molasses, sour cream, raisins, and pecans. 

-  I couldn't find any sour cream in the fridge so I used yogurt.

- I stirred a mixture of golden and dark raisins into my batter.

-  Chopped toasted pecans from Trader Joe's are a great time saver and give a wonderful nutty flavor in baked goods!

-  Instead of one 9x13 pan, I baked the recipe in two 8x8 pans because I wanted to make sure the middle got baked through.

-  My bars took 30 -35 minutes to bake, and were still quite moist inside, with a nice crackly top.

- I cut the bars small because they were going on a big platter of bar cookies and brownies.

the verdict:

These bars have a perfectly balanced combination of flavors. The raisins are a strong presence but blend beautifully with the spices and nuts.  I like the way these bars round out a collection of bar cookies - they are great with blondies and brownies.  On the other hand, they are strong enough to stand all by themselves.  I'll turn to this recipe time and again for a versatile cool-weather cookie.

I have been enjoying the streamlined, delicious recipes from The Modern Baker.  In fact I included the book as one of my favorites in my 2010 Cookbook Roundup and purchased three copies of the cookbook in hardcover: for me and for each of my daughters.  If you don't have a copy, the book is now available at very reasonable cost in paperback!  I was honored that Nick Malgieri recently sent a paperback copy of the book to each member of The Modern Baker Challenge.


TeaLady said...

Wish I had thought of roasting the pecans. Bet they did bring out the flavor.

These were a nice change from the overly sweet goodies of the holiday season.

Di said...

Those sound really yummy! MB still drives me crazy with its format, but maybe I'll borrow it from the library again to copy down this recipe. =)

Unknown said...

Oooh yum, these sound awesome Nancy, and I am definitely all about easy right now. Minus the nuts I think these would be a very nice afternoon snack here :)

Kayte said...

Oh, these look lovely. We all really liked this recipe. They were just so full of nice flavor and a small one was very filling (always a good thing when it comes to sweets!) It's great to have you baking a thing or two with me in this group.

Melanie said...

I love the crackly tops on your bars! I just made these yesterday and they are wonderful. Very moist! I wasn't sure my bars were done at 25 minutes, but I took them out anyway and they turned out to be fine. Glad you liked these too!

chard@cinnamon roasted pecans said...

I love to make this one and i wold like to print this out because this dish is very interesting for me to try and taste. And it sounds yummy!

Anonymous said...

These bars were so delicious! I'm actually thinking of making them again to go with dinner tomorrow.