Creole Pecan Cake bars

I have been a baking machine this holiday season!  I’ve been trying out all kinds of new cookie recipes.  There have been a few standouts and this is one of them.  They remind me of date balls (which I love).  They are moist, chewy, and delicious.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature *

2 cups packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature*

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

3 cups chopped pecans

1 cup raisins, preferably golden

1 cup finely chopped pitted dates

Preheat oven to 300.  Coat the bottom and sides of a large (17×2 inch) baking sheet with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper.  (I just used my stoneware without any spray or paper and it didn’t stick at all)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium high-speed.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.

Add half the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until well combined.  Add cinnamon and nutmeg; stir until blended into the mixture completely.  Add pecans, raisins, and dates to the rest of the flour mixture.  (coating the dried fruit and nuts helps distribute them in the mix).  Stir the flour coated fruit and nuts into the batter.  Do not overstir.  Evenly spread the batter into the prepared baking pan with a spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 45 minutes.  Cut into 48 squares.

Each bar is 3 pts.  I couldn’t calculate the pts +.

*to soften butter, place in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds on 30% power.

*to bring an egg to room temperature, set it on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes.

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