Old-Fashioned Holiday Bar Cookies

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These bar cookies are not only delicious, they are FOOLPROOF. The recipe is my daughter’s. When she was a teenager she liked to bake and made these cookies often.

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DH’s grandmother Helen’s Dream Cake recipe from her hand-written cookbook. The recipe is similar to my daughter’s bar cookie recipe.

OLD FASHIONED HOLIDAY BAR COOKIES

Crust:

½ cup butter

½ cup light brown sugar

1 cup sifted flour

Filling:

2 eggs

1 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

3 tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

1 can (3 ½ oz.) coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Mix butter, sugar and flour until smooth. Pat into bottom of 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Cool.

To make filling: beat eggs until light; gradually add sugar. Add vanilla, flour, salt and baking powder. Stir until combined. Add coconut and nuts. Spread evenly over crust and bake 25 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly.

Cut into bars while still warm.

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The crust is patted down on the bottom of the pan, baked and ready for my “flourless filling”.

“Noooo,” I shrieked like a shrew. 

My poor husband was trying to help. But, he was instead further ruining the treats I was making for him.

I didn’t realize until AFTER I spread  the filling over my cooled cookie crust that I had forgotten to include flour in the filling.

DH said it was not a problem, he could stir the flour in with a fork. I was afraid the fragile crust might break up and get in the filling…my daughter’s recipe specifically called for a crust.

But, DH seemed confident, so  I sprinkled about a tablespoon of flour over the cookies.  DH got a fork and started stirring. Vigorously, he stirred the crust right INTO the filling.

Which was reason I made enough noise to scare our animals out of the kitchen.

My scream also stopped DH from doing more cookie damage.

I put the cookies in the oven and hoped for the best. 

Fortunately, the best was fantastic. The cookies were wonderful.

The recipe is FOOLPROOF.

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  1. ELL’s avatar

    Oh yummy. I was going to ask you what is a “slow oven” then I read on and see it’s 350 degrees F. I’m going to make these this weekend. I just made an Apple pie Monday night. First in a couple of years. I’m not much of a cook or baker but you make it seem so easy and look sooo good!

    Hi ELL,

    I fully recommend the cookies. They are one of my favorites. My daughter made them all the time when she was a teenager and everybody used to love them.

    Reply

  2. Simply Marvelous’s avatar

    Those sound wonderful !! (like everything you make)

    I just might surprise my movie star and try out the kitchen, again.
    You certainly inspire me !!

    Hi Simply Marvelous,

    I bet your movie star already loves your cooking!

    Reply

  3. ELL’s avatar

    Oh, and I love the picture of the page from the old cook book

    Ell,

    I really love DH’s grandmother’s cookbook. It was almost thrown away, too. My husband dug it out of the trash when his grandmother was being moved.

    Reply

  4. Merri’s avatar

    I have this recipe!! They ARE foolproof and popular..
    (LOVE seeing the cookbook recipes..)

    Hi Merri,

    I don’t know where my daughter originally got this recipe, but the first time I had these cookies she made them. However, it must go back quite a ways because the recipe from my husband’s grandmother’s cookbook is very similar. I would have made them that way, but I knew my daughter’s recipe was really good and DH said he had never had this kind of cookie before.

    I was relieved when they turned out despite my leaving out an ingredient.

    Reply

  5. imagineannie’s avatar

    These look very much like my grandmothers “Pecan squares,” which she made every Christmas. The main difference is that she topped each square with a dab of white buttercream icing with a whole, toasted pecan set into it. Its the only one of her recipes I have in her handwriting, and something that would go with me out of a burning house. I envy you that whole book of handwritten recipes; I’d rather have something like that from either side of my family than any cookbook I’ve ever seen.

    Hi imagineannie,

    I love the handwritten cookbook. My husband said his grandmother was a wonderful cook. It is so fortunate he saw it in the trash and rescued it. Your grandmother’s pecan squares sound good. Anything that adds more sugar is sure to be a plus with me.

    Reply

  6. Overwhelmed With Joy!’s avatar

    First of all, the pictures you shared for this recipe were beautiful! I especially enjoyed seeing the handwritten recipe from your DH’s grandma’s cookbook. She had lovely handwriting.

    These bars sound fantastic and I’m going to have to try them soon!

    Thanks for participating in my Favorite Ingredients Friday- Cookie edition recipe exchange. I sure appreciate it!

    Hi Overwhelmed With Joy!

    I will try to participate in more recipe exchanges. I love getting new recipes that regular people like me have made, too. I think those are the best!

    I do recommend these cookies bars. My daughter was cooking and baking them when she wasn’t very old and they were always really good!!!

    Reply

  7. Carolyn’s avatar

    Dream cake was a shower staple in British Columbia when I was growing up. In Australia they put a layer of either raspberry or Strawberry jam and call it louise cake! I love this old fashioned square very much. I hope you will always treasure DH’s granny’s book. THAT IS a REAL TREASURE! memories and you learn a lot about a woman by her cookbook they used to say. Thansk for Sharing!

    I too have joy in finding this.

    Grateful from canada

    Reply

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