Monday, September 24, 2012



Another VW camping trip….. what to make…what to make?

That was me last Wednesday night.  My boyfriend, Earl, was going camping with his friends and I wanted to send along a little care package he could share with them. For some reason, they love my baked goods - go figure J.  Nice, huh?   This group always provides great motivation to try out new recipes. For this trip I narrowed it down to two. The first: Whiskey Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars - an adaptation from a Kentucky Derby Pie Bar recipe I had found online.  The second recipe was a Pecan Carrot Cake Cupcake with Pineapple frosting - an adaptation from a Pioneer Woman cake recipe. I wanted something that packed and traveled well. These two recipes worked out perfectly.   

I’m going to focus on the Whiskey Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars in this post, but I promise to share the Pecan Carrot Cake Cupcakes in the next.  Back to the Whiskey Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars. The original recipe called for Bourbon.  I don’t think I have ever tasted Bourbon, so it definitely was not in my liquor cabinet, but I did have a nice bottle of Scottish whiskey I had picked up on a trip to Scotland a few years ago.  After a bit of research online I figured out that Bourbon and Whiskey are very similar.  So I said, what the heck and gave it a try.

The bars turned out delicious!  The ginger crust gives them a wonderful flavor, plus the subtle taste of the Whiskey is enjoyable.  And don’t forget the chocolate! Yummy.  These bars would be great base for a scoop of vanilla ice cream or solo with a big glass of milk - just like Earl ate them.  These are a guaranteed, do it again recipe. It’s easy and delicious! 

Happy Cooking Everyone! (and to the Campbodians/Cunado Wear group ….. Glad you had a good camping trip and enjoyed the goodies!)
                                                      Earl in his Classic 63' VW bus
                                                      Typical VW camping set up

Now for the Recipe:
2 cups ginger snap crumbs (you can usually find Ginger Snap cookies near Graham Crackers in the cookie aisle at the grocery store)
1 stick (½ cup unsalted butter) melted

1 cup white sugar
1 stick (½ cup unsalted butter) softened
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla
4-5 tablespoons Good Scottish Whiskey
½ cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
1. Cut a piece of wax paper to fit the inside of a 13 x 9 inch pan -  place in bottom of pan. Spray the side and bottom (which is covered with the wax paper) with spray oil, set aside.

2. To make the ginger snap crumbs: place ginger snap cookies into food processor - processing until the cookies are small crumbs.  **

3. Combine the gingersnap crumbs and butter in a medium size bowl until well blended.  All the crumbs will be moistened with the butter.

4. Pour the prepared crust into the prepared pan.  Press down till the bottom is covered with the crust mixture. Set aside.
5.  To make the filling:  in a medium size bowl and at a medium speed, mix together sugar and butter with an electric hand mixer or your kitchen aid with the paddle attachment.  Lower speed and gradually add in eggs, one at a time.

6. Add vanilla and whiskey till combined, then gradually add the flour till all the ingredients are combined.
7. Using a wooden spoon, add the pecans and chocolate chips, stirring slowly until combined. Do not over stir

8. Pour the filling over the crust and gentley spread till the majority of the crust if covered

9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. (the top will be a light golden color)
10. Cool, then cut into bars. Make sure you remove the wax paper from the bottom of the bars - sometimes it sticks to the bars a bit.  Store in a plastic container until ready to eat. (Trust me, they won’t last long!!!

Whiskey Choolcte Pean Pie Bars are in the middle.  Bottom is the Pecan Carrot Cake Cupcake with Pineapple frosting (next posting :-) ) 

*** TIP: If you do not have food processor, a blender works well, just do a few at a time.  Or put cookies in plastic bag and roll over them with rolling pin until they are a fine  crumb.

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