Monday, September 20, 2010

potatoes anna, winning hearts and minds chocolate cake, pumpkin pie bars

This is last night's Potatoes Anna.

We had it with a Sunday night family dinner which also included rack of lamb. This looks like a lot of work but was a very simple recipe to prepare. All dead simple due to my mother's amazing mandolin slicer. She has the Bentley of mandolins which is now on my Christmas wish list. I realize that my Starfrit finger hacker must go.
The potatoes are from Tina's Farm Stand and this dish tastes like chips - straight up homemade potato chips.

For dessert we ate my first try at Owen's birthday cake. Thank goodness for testers because this one is not even close to what I want for his birthday. Delicious cake, and although the recipe is touted as a wedding cake, it's somewhere between a pudding and cake. Layering is just not an option. I pretty much had a suspicion this wasn't our winner when there wasn't any leavening ingredients in the recipe. Time to get serious and turn to the Cake Bible for a fool-proof chocolate birthday cake.

We also taste tested Pumpkin Pie Bars. This recipe was in my grandmother's collection and I decided that if Howell's Pumpkin Farm is open, then it's not too early to make this fall treat. These are to-die-for delicious! My mother said she never remembers my grandmother making these, so I'm thinking this might have been a recipe shared from a friend. In that case I won't be spreading any 'secret family recipe' if I share it on this blog.

Pumpkin Pie Bars
1 1/3 c flour
½ c packed brown sugar
¾ c white sugar, divided
¾ c butter
1 c quick-cooking oats
½ c chopped pecans
1 pkg (250g) cream cheese softened
3 eggs
1 can (19oz, 540mL) pureed pumpkin
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13" pan, line with parchment.

Mix brown sugar & ¼ c white sugar & flour in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture is course crumbs. Stir in oats & pecans. Reserve 1 c of oat mixture, press remaining into bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, remaining ½ c white sugar, eggs, pumpkin & spice with electric mixer medium speed until blended. Pour over crust, sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. Cut into 24 bars.

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