Recipe excerpted from:
Gale Gand's Just a Bite
125 Luscious Little Desserts
Reprinted with permission.
makes about 60
When I was growing up, children were supposed to drink oceans of milk every single day for their health. Fortunately, my mother came from a long line of bakers and often devised new desserts that made a tall glass of cold milk taste great. This chewy-sweet fruit and nut bar, which bakes up with a crackly brown-sugar crust, is one of them.
These moist bars last for a long time in the cookie jar. They are packed with "dried plums," as the growers' association now wants us all to refer to prunes!
A 9 x 13-inch baking pan, buttered and floured (or use a nonstick pan)
1 pound (2 1/4 cups packed) light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pitted dried plums (formerly known as prunes), quartered
9 ounces (about 3/4 cup) pecan halves
Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Beat the eggs until light and foamy in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer). Add the sugar and mix. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir in the dried plum pieces by hand.
Spread the pecans in a single layer in the prepared pan. Pour the batter over the pecans. Bake until the center feels set and a top crust forms, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan to room temperature. Use a serrated knife with a sharp point to cut into 1 1/2-inch squares, cleaning your knife often.
Excerpted from Gale Gand's Just a Bite by Gale Gand and Julia Moskin Copyright 2001 by Gale Gand and Julia Moskin. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.