Over a Cup: Making holiday bars | CraigDailyPress.com

Over a Cup: Making holiday bars

Diane Prather

The past few days I've been thinking of holidays past and people I've known who made their special Christmas sweets. For example, my sister-in-law, the late Florence Van Tassel, made peanut brittle and other candy every Christmas. I remember how she fussed about the way the peanut brittle turned out, but it was always delicious, no matter what she thought. My mother, the late Judy Osborn, made chocolate-covered cherries. I always wondered how she got them to "turn out." She made fruit cakes, too, using her applesauce cake recipe.

And I have been thinking about all of the readers who sent in recipes for popcorn balls last year. I tried some of them. This past summer I got to try Iva Decker's popcorn balls and some peanut brittle, too. It was yummy. Remember how we all tried to help Iva find red hot candies for the popcorn balls?

I haven't featured very many recipes for bars in this column so this week there are two of them. The recipe for "Peanut Butter Bars" is easy. I have not tried the second one. I found it in my files. If you like fruit cake, maybe you'll like this recipe with dates in the ingredients.

Both of these recipes came from my old cookbook that doesn't have a cover and some of the other pages. If you try this date bar recipe, call and let me know how it turned out. If you have a recipe that you would like to share, call me at 824-8809 or write to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.

Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Mix the first 4 ingredients. Press into a greased 9×13-inch pan. Melt chocolate chips and spread on top. Chill and cut into squares.

Date and Nut Bars

1/3 cup boiling water

2 cups chopped pitted dates

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs, unbeaten

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon soda

1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

powdered sugar (optional)

Pour the boiling water over the dates. Let cool. Put shortening, sugar, salt, spices, eggs and cooled date mixture in a large mixing bowl. Beat until thoroughly blended. Stir together the flour and soda. Add flour mixture and nuts to date mixture; beat until blended. Place the batter in a 9-inch square baking dish. Spread the batter evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan. Cut into bars and roll in powdered sugar, if desired.