I’m uncertain how many years my friend Pat and I have baked Christmas cookies together, but it’s many. Although we share a love of baking, lately we’ve discovered it’s less about the process and more about making time and sharing. As we care for family, spend hours at work, and tend households, time for friendship seems fleeting. Our baking weekend is planned months in advance and is eagerly anticipated. More so, now, because Pat’s daughter, daughter-in-law, and families join in the fun. Yes, two grandchildren are part of the festivities.
It gets hectic, we burn cookies, we are distracted, but it’s fun. The laughter at the successes and failures is equal. We take time – time to share, to love, to cry, and mostly to be together.
So, as in past Christmastime blogs, I share a recipe. This one is easy and oh, so tasty.
Pecan Turtle Bars
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, divided
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup pecan halves
• 2/3 cup butter
• 1 cup milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine flour, 1 cup brown sugar, and softened butter in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pat mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly over crumb mixture.
3. Combine 2/3 cup butter and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar in small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until entire surface is bubbly; cook, stirring constantly, 1/2 to 1 minute more. Pour into pan, spreading evenly over crust.
4. Bake in preheated oven until entire surface is bubbly, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes to allow chocolate to melt; use a knife or small spatula to swirl chocolate slightly. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Use sharp knife to cut into 48 bars.
As Pat and I intend to continue our baking marathons, there’s no question that friendship and family are key ingredients.
Whether you bake, take a walk, play games, or whatever, remember to take time and share.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.