Northern cooks can make ’em too!
Better Half and I visited friends to help them put a roof on a rental home they own. Well, let me clarify: Better Half was going to help with a roof and I was playing around with my buddy C. These Southern Belles (courtesy of my cookbook Sassafras) are my contribution to the good folks that volunteered to roof. It takes maybe five minutes to prepare these caramel morsels. I also made a few snide comments to some of the guys—those count as contributions too. . . .
C and I had a blast. We shopped in a little Ozark town and played around on their 100 acres. We went on a golf ball hunt, (the men love to see how far they can hit the golf balls) which sort of reminded me of an Easter Egg hunt. Not surprisingly, I found very few while C found a sackful! We walked around the property quite a bit and listened to the beautiful sound of the water rushing through their cave. The cave is huge and amazing; archaeologists have visited to find and document Indian artifacts. C’s husband is awesome at finding arrowheads in the creek and cave. We played multiple games of dominoes, marbles, and gin rummy. We made homemade feta and mozzarella cheeses, as well as visiting their workshop where we gals utilized saws, drills, and other myriad “manly” tools and crafted something special for my knitting. . . . (another post!).
We had a lot of fun cooking loads of food for the men and talking until the wee hours. Oh, we also damaged a few items: an antique chair from France (honestly, I don’t weigh that much!) and C’s thumb (which I’m sure will grow back together. Thank God she’s an RN!).
2 c flour
1¾ c packed light brown sugar
1 c butter, softened
1½ to 2 c whole pecans
1½ c chocolate (semi, milk, etc.) chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flour, 1 c brown sugar and ½ c butter until crumbly. Press on bottom of ungreased 9″ x 13″ pan. Sprinkle with single layer of pecans. Combine remaining butter and brown sugar in small saucepan and boil one minute. Pour over pecans (making a thin layer). Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until caramel layer bubbles. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips, gently spreading as chocolate melts. Cool and cut into bars.