Thursday, January 3, 2013

Junk in the Trunk Bars & January's Give-Away

The inspiration for the name of these bars comes from a phrase my DH deemed for our new kitty--Rosie.  When we got her, we were surprised how "chunky" she was from still being in with other mama cats who were tending to kittens; her diet consisted of a high-calorie dry food for a nursing cat.  However, those extra pounds didn't stop Rosie from jumping to where ever she wanted to be, so my DH would say, "my, how can she jump with all the junk in her trunk!"

She is slimming down, much like the rest of us after the holidays.  In fact, I read that 98% of people making resolutions have losing weight near the top!

And...Here is this month's apron for the next Give-Away.  One of my dearest friends birthday is in January and since her birthstone is a Garnet, this fabric just spoke to me as the next apron.  I love the colors and if you look closely, you'll see some Queen Anne's Lace.  One of the paintings my mother did for me for a birthday was of this favorite wild flower--I cherish it.
To be eligible for the apron, just comment on any of the posts I do for the month of January and you're entered!

Junk in the Trunk Bars
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
4 cups dark brown sugar, lightly packed
4 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
2 cups lightly toasted pecans (or walnuts) broken into pieces
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate bits
1 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed

Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Butter a 9" x 13" baking pan.  I used my springform pan, if you don't have one, I would suggest you line the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment too.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar and melted butter thoroughly.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the dry ingredients, dried cherries, 1 cup each of pecans, bittersweet chocolate bits, and pretzels and mix until combined.

Spoon batter into the prepared baking pan.
Smooth the batter and then add, 1/2 cup crushed pretzels and bittersweet chocolate bits and 1 cup of broken pecans on top.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, covering the top with aluminum foil after 25 minutes of baking to insure the  center bakes evenly.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 1 hour before cutting into squares.
Having removable sides certainly helps!  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to suit what "junk you like in your trunk!"  You can change up the nuts to walnuts, cashews, or peanuts; add coconut, or do a mixture of baking bits--peanut butter, butterscotch, semi-sweet, etc.

Rosie is on her way to being a slimmer kitty as are we with watching our diets for the new year too.  BTW, everyone who is having beautiful snow, let me give you a peak at what I'm seeing outside my door.
Yes, that's my daffodils daring to pop up!



  1. Love chocolate and pretzels and these bars look amazing! Glad Rosie is settling in and her junk is waning as well. :) Have a bar for me! Lv, me

  2. Rosie is beautiful..we have had two cats on 'diets' this past year the 'junk' had spilled out from the trunk! They have both lost weight and we are thrilled to bits.
    Jane x
    (for Rosie xxxxx)

  3. Love the colors for the apron! The receipe looks yummy.

  4. Pretty (the cat and the apron).
    Theresa N

  5. Susan, your bars look good--lots of texture-yummy I'm sure. I love the painting your mother did. Enjoy your sweet new kitty. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

  6. Oooooooo, Susan. Those look pretty decadent. Will those help with the slimming down? (hee hee). Pretty kitty! Susan

  7. I fear I will have junk in MY trunk if I keep making some of your recipes... but I cannot resist chocolate with pretzels (or with peanut butter.... or raspberries....)

    Rosie is beautiful, I know you've been looking forward to bringing her home for a while now. I'm glad she has finally arrived.

    No resolutions here.... but it seems that your weather is starting to look a bit like mine :-)

    Sending Love and Ladybug Hugs,
    Kat xoxoxo

  8. Oh, the apron is gorgeous for this month! My birthday is this month, too! Enjoy those goodies! I better go look for some sugar free snack...FAST! heehee! Sweet hugs!

  9. I already have so much junk in my trunk and elsewhere on my body that while these look yummy, I might wait until Valentine's day for more baking! This months apron is gorgeous my friend! Your kitty is adorable!

    hugs, Linda

  10. Dear Susan, it looks like kitty has her own exercise apparatus! Those bars sound delicious, but your apron is my favorite. I love mine so much, and since recieving it, wear it every single day. Your sewing is so beautiful. Thank you again times ten!

  11. Hi susan, bet I know who's birthday is in January. I will be sending out a card to her soon. this junk in the trunk cake sounds like a winner to me. think will change up the chocolate to peanut butter or butterscotch chips and yes, maybe some coconut.
    stamping sue

  12. Haha, love the name:) They look yummy!

  13. I love the name for your bars! If only all my junk in the trunk looked as lovely as the bars. :) Is it really your birthday this month? We get to share the same name and birthday month! Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Actually, I'm a Scorpio, but one of my dearest friend's birthday is this month...but you're right, we do share the same name and love for baking:-D

    2. I'll take what I can get. :) Growing up there was a corner in the small town I grew up in that was always my favorite. On one corner there was a dear lady who shared my birthday, kitty-corner there was another dear lady who shared my name. I still smile every time I go home and drive past their houses. :)

  14. I love the look of these bars. Baking keeps me sane, so I am happy to have found your blog.

  15. I love to bake too. This recipe looks yummy. Just found your blog, so happy I did. Thanks for a chance to win.


  16. Beautiful cat and certainly an American recipe.

  17. MMmmm! The junk in the trunk looks great. Rosie is a beauty! And my birthday (and Gordon's) is in January too. I love garnets. You don't have to enter me, because I already have one of your beautiful aprons. i get compliments whenever I wear my sunflowers!

  18. Beautiful apron and this recipe and name just made me giggle