Treat Day – Week 12 (Pecan Pie Bars!)


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying this long holiday weekend celebrating! I know that I have a lot to be thankful for and really need to start practicing the attitude of gratitude all year round… not just on Thanksgiving.

Every year my cousins host a Pie Bake Party on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and they take orders ahead of time from all the guests invited.  They make and send every guest home with at least one pie so that they can, in turn, bring the pie(s) to their own Thanksgiving celebration.  A lot of the guests also come in and help with the pie making themselves. This has been a family & friend Thanksgiving tradition for 25 years now.  It’s a ton of fun to see all the pies come out of the ovens while there is a full blown party with appetizers, sandwiches & drinks going on at the same time! It usually gets pretty crazy around 9 o’clock when the guests are all here and the pies start getting boxed up.  This year I think there were a total of 42 pies made.  Some years there have been over 50 made!  Crazy.

But all the pie talk got me thinking about Pecan Pie, one of my Thanksgiving favorites,  and so I found a simple recipe in the form of bars that I thought the Bears might enjoy, especially knowing that they had to play a game in Detroit on the actual holiday and wasn’t sure if everyone would get home in time to enjoy any pie with family or friends. I thought it would be nice to send a little taste of a traditional Thanksgiving treat a couple days ahead of the holiday. Well, I was told on treat day that they all got eaten so I guess I’ll take that as a sure sign that they were well received.  I  thought they were decent, but part of me thought they could use a little something more… I was so tempted to add a layer of melted milk chocolate on top, until I realized I was out of milk chocolate and didn’t have time to run out for some.  So, I’ll let you be the judge of adding a layer of chocolate on top or not.  Either way, you will enjoy this simple shortbread crust, and pecan toffee filling bar if you like Pecan Pie… obviously 🙂  Just be sure to find the toffee bits with chocolate (not the plain toffee bits). So here is the recipe from a sight called “A Taste of Home“Pecan Pie Bars

Thank you so much for reading my blog and GO BEARS!!!




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2018 will mark my 7th Season making treats and baking for the Chicago Bears. You might be thinking, how does one land that gig? Well, let me tell you. It’s riveting… My younger brother, Danny, works full-time for the Bears. Our entire family have been life-long Bears fans, btw. Back in the summer of 2012, he came to me and said, “Hey, we need someone to make treats for the team. Do you think you can do it? Because my boss said, Dan, you’ve got all those sisters, can’t one of them bake? So, I volunteered you.” My first response was, “YES, but I don’t know how to bake”. I mean, up until that point, the only things I remember ever baking were 1) S’mores Bars back in the 80’s off a recipe on the back of the Golden Grahams cereal box. Come to think of it now, I don’t even think those things went into the oven – so technically that wasn’t baking. And 2) Good old Nestle Toll House cookies – which NEVER turned out the same each time I baked them and it drove me nuts and got me to HATE baking for that very reason. I was always in love with cooking, though. I was the gal who threw dinner parties often and provided an obnoxious array of hors d’oeuvres and wine – that’s more my thing. Side note: I learned the hard way that baking and wine don’t mix. Ha! However, I was honored and excited to have been asked to step up to the plate for this little baking / treat-making gig, for THE CHICAGO BEARS, no less. So my answer was an enthusiastic, YES! I figured I still had a month before the first regular season game, which is when the “treat days” begin – every Thursday during the regular season (not preseason). So, I hit the streets in search of good recipes and then got to work test-baking in the kitchen for the rest of that summer. As I became more internet savvy, I started following lots of baking bloggers and watching video tutorials. I would go to parties and if I tasted something that I thought was exceptional, I would never hesitate to ask for the recipe. Baking for the Bears is always in the back of my mind when eating desserts. I now have an arsenal of treat recipes worthy of offering at a bake shop, if I do say so myself;) . I started getting requests for my pound cake, outside of Baking for the Bears, and my Double Chocolate Chip Sea Salt cookies have been quoted as “The best cookies in the world” by a well-known player, as well as friends, family and neighbors. One of the first things I did was perfect a cookie of my own that comes out pretty consistently crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. I no longer rely on the old Toll-House recipe. It’s the one thing I never get tired of baking. The guys get them every week. With that said, this season, I plan to blog my recipes each week, and share with you whatever it is I am making for the Bears. I’ll also give you tried & true feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and any fun comments that the players, staff, friends & co-workers might have regarding the treat of the week. My office colleagues love it when football season rolls around, because I typically find new recipes and test-bake on Sundays to bring in on Mondays for critical reviews. From there, I decide if they are Bear-worthy for Thursday Treat Days at Halas Hall. I hope you will check in periodically and enjoy my blog. I’m super excited for the 2018 Bears football season both on the field and in the kitchen! GO BEARS! This is gonna be a good season… I can feel it!

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