Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gingerbread~Pecan Bars & October's Apron Give-Away Winner


Halloween is barely past and Christmas decorations have popped up in the store...and it's turned chilly with snow falling in some parts of the country, so the smell of gingerbread just seemed like the perfect thing to bake.

Typically, gingerbread is made with honey or molasses and ground ginger (sometimes fresh ginger is added too.) It was introduced to Europe in 992 by an Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis who taught gingerbread baking to French Christians then, crossed over to Germany and Sweden in the 13th century because it was thought to have medicinal properties.  That makes sense, because when we were sick as children, my mother always made sure we had ginger ale around:-D

Gingerbread would evolve over the next several centuries and besides the cake version, cookies are widely baked, especially at the holidays.  I know it's one of my hubby's favorites and that's why I came up with this recipe.

Instead of honey or molasses, I tried a new ingredient--Lyle's Golden Syrup.  I have this on my shelf because we love Anzac Biscuits and this is a key ingredient.
The bars have a chewy consistency because of this ingredient and along with the pecans (which are grown in the South,) these treats will definitely be in my cookie boxes this holiday.

Gingerbread~Pecan Bars
9T (1 stick + 1T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
1 tsp. ground Ginger
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie spices
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
40 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Line a 10" x 15" baking sheet with parchment, allowing it to lay over the sides of the pan for easy lifting out the bars after baking.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and Golden Syrup thoroughly.  Add the spices and beat once more until fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium, just until the mixture comes together.  Pat dough into the prepared pan.
Use a paring knife to score--in half, then in quarters and longwise, space 5 across to give you a total of 20 bars.
Place 2 pecan halves on each bar and bake in the preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
While still warm, cut through the score lines and allow the bars to cool in the pan.  You can lift them out using the extended parchment paper.  Serve with a glass of apple cider...which is how we had ours!  The aroma in the kitchen is wonderful--Enjoy!

Now, this month's apron winner is: Moonstruckcreations.  Please email me your address so I can get this apron out to you to enjoy. Tomorrow, November's apron will be up--I promise.

Today is the anniversary of my mother's passing; 27 years ago at age 67.  Way too young to leave us, but she taught me so much during her short time.  I feel I'm always attached to her apron strings and it's with love I honor her with this blog.  Thank you all for being a part of my memories.

Lastly,  I'm sharing a photo I captured of two of the kittens (Harper and Clara) while they slept.  It reminds me that we should let our family and friends how much they mean to us--you do.

14 comments:

  1. These look really good! And I have Lyle's Golden Syrup in my pantry!
    Mom would love your blog.
    Kittens are adorable when they are sleeping!

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  2. I know you have wonderful memories of you Mother and I am so sorry she was taken too soon from you life. Wishing you a wonderful night!
    hugs,
    Linda

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  3. Have never heard of this "mystery" ingredient. I'll keep an eye open for it. The way you honor your mother is very special, Susan.

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  4. I hope you have good thoughts and memories of your mother tomorrow. And congrats to your lucky winner. She will love her new apron! I love mine! Sweet hugs, Diane

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  5. delicious. sending hugs and much love, the kittys are too precious.

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  6. Oh how warm and cozy! I know the apron winner is going to dance with happiness! The gingerbread looks so yummy!

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  7. Mmmmmmm! gingerbread pecan bars sounds so good!
    all the best to all our friends and family this holiday season.
    stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  8. They look irresistible with all the pecans and makes a great fall afternoon snack.
    Harper and Clara are so sweet.

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  9. Sweet post. Those sound yummy, Susan.

    Oh, I didn't know our blog name was connected to your Mom. How wonderful. She must be happy, looking down from the other realm of life.

    And the kitty photo is precious. Just precious.

    Gee, never saw that syrup. Wonder if it's in the supermarkets here.

    Congrats to the apron winner. It was a pretty one. Well, they all are! Susan

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  10. Delicious looking bars, beautiful apron and 2 gorgeous, obviously sweet-natured cats. :)

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    1. They are, Deb--so happy they chose us...most days:-D

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  11. I am thrilled to be the winner of the October apron, thank you so much! I have just sent an email to you.

    These bars look so yummy, will have to have a go at making these I think. I wish my cats were so friendly with each other, they spend most of their time avoiding each other as much as possible.

    So lovely that you remember your mum in this way through your blog.

    Helenxx

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  12. Your mother was far too young too (mine was 64.) Your blog is such a nice tribute to her. She's always very present in your writing and baking.

    Yummy bars!

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