• 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Powdered sugar

I remember getting my first cookbook.  I was eight years old and already in love with cooking.  I’ve talked before about how influential my mother and grandmother were when it comes to my love of recipes and cooking, but that first little cookbook was unique to me and I tried every dish in that book.  I couldn’t wait to see the reactions as everyone took that first bite.  Obviously, even if it was awful, my parents would act like it was gourmet, but I have to say I felt pretty confident after trying them myself, that I had quite a few hits!  One of my favorites is a recipe I still make today.  It is a sweet and nutty dessert that can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes.  I call them “Sweet Dream Bars” because I usually make them Christmas Eve and then send the kids off to bed.  These sweet treats are buttery, nutty and super chewy.  I’ve made a couple adjustments over the years, but the basic dish is still delicious and easy enough for an eight year old to mix up.

Melt the butter in an 8×8 square pan.  Mix together the nuts, brown sugar, flour and baking soda.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla.  Pour this mixture over the melted butter (do not stir or mix).  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool slightly before cutting into bars.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.