Friday, November 8, 2013

Sister Sue's Pecan Pie Bars

Sister Sue's Pecan Pie Bars


2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 stick cold butter

In a large mixing bowl sift together the dry ingredients. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut cold butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly.

Place into 13 x 9-inch glass pan such as a Pyrex dish sprayed with non-stick spray (I use Pam.) With hands, press crust out on the bottom and up onto sides of pan.

Cook in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes until light golden.

While crust is baking, prepare the filling.


2 eggs
3/4 cup white Karo syrup
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 chopped pecans

Have filling ready to pour over hot crust and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees until the edges are firm.

This is a delicious alternative to the traditional pecan pie. It is so easy to grab one and go, the kids will eat them when they might not slow down for a piece of pie! I also like to eat one when I'm having a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. Try them this holiday season and next holiday season you'll find yourself baking both pecan pies and pecan pie bars!

Photo digital format by Judith Richards Shubert using Raspberry Road Designs Secret Family Recipe Cluster Freebie

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pecan Pie

Sue's Pecan Pies
and Pecan Bars
Thanksgiving is normally when my family starts thinking of serving pecan pie, but any time is really a good time to serve pecan pie. My sister, Sue, began baking pecan bars several years ago, in additional to her traditional pecan pies and they were a hit. So easy to grab and run, crunchy and sweet, I have noticed them  more and more recently on cooking shows and recipe blogs.
My favorite is still her Pecan Pie. She told me our mother, Mildred, always used Granny Pruett's recipe. Mildred loved Granny Pruett's pie so much after tasting it years ago, she never went back to her own recipe. Now, after a couple of tweaks, Sue does the same thing. She uses Granny Pruett's basic Pecan Pie recipe.
I will miss being at her Thanksgiving table this year. I will have to use her recipe and North Carolina pecans instead of the Texas pecans she always uses! I can only cross my fingers that my oven cooks my pies to half the perfection that hers and Grandma Mildred's has always done.
Sister Sue's Pecan Pie
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups Karo syrup
6 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans
Mix all ingredients well and fill 2 unbaked pie shells. Bake at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
The only difference in our brother-in-law, Gene's, mother, Granny Pruett's pie: 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, bake at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mineral Wells Pecans

October and November is truly the time for pecan harvesting in the south, and that includes my beloved Texas. There are more memories tied up with my Aunt Irene and Uncle Raymond Stone's pecan trees than I can even bring to mind. Children from every generation played and worked under the beautiful branches of the pecan trees that they cared for over 50 years - from the early 1950s until the mid 2000s - they were a source of income as well as pride and joy!
Irene Checking the Pecan Trees

As little kids, we played games under the trees and then helped pick up the pecans when we could. Later it became a serious job. My sister even had to have a fella with whom she was having a first date take her to Irene and Raymond's as soon as they got through eating burgers, probably at the Dairy Queen, because she had to help shell pecans! I wonder who that date was, and IF he ever showed up again? Hmmm?

Every Easter there were colorful bonnets and dresses and dress shirts running around every which way looking for the eggs hidden by the Easter rabbit or the adults after the family got finished with the Easter Sunday meal. The pecan trees held many secret places where you might later find a pink or yellow egg that a grandchild had missed.

Raymond's knowledge of his pecans was enviable. He entered them in shows and competitions held around the county and the Texas Fair. I remember he had a large display of different types of pecans found in Texas and it was very impressive. It always hung in the hallway between the dining room and their bedroom.

Raymond Checking the Pecans Gathered
and Put Into Bed of His Pick-Up

He and Irene worked hard seeing that their pecan trees were healthy and produced a good crop each year. Some years were not as good as others, but that is just the way it is, isn't it? It is sad now when we drive by the old homeplace, the trees were taken by fire shortly after they had both died. The Texas heat and summer fires are unrelenting. We are all just glad they were not here to see the devastation. I believe they know and see from where they are, but it would be hard for us to see the hurt in their eyes.



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When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

--Chief Tecumseh

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