Mix together some maple syrup, pecans, brown sugar, butter, a little salt, a bit of flour and a couple of eggs and magic happens. You end up with these delicious bars with a soft sweet centre, a shortbread crust and a maple pecan top to enjoy any time you like. A little bite just because, a little slice ’cause it is tea time or maybe a big slice just because there is really no reason NOT to enjoy.
But before sharing today’s recipe I have a complaint…what is wrong with people!!
The other Sunday I was at Union Station and a young woman was walking from the subway to the GO. She was talking out loud to herself and sort of yelling or howling every so often. To add to this she was dressed very unusually for a roasting hot and humid day in the city. Thigh high stockings, shorts cut up her backside exposing half of her butt, 5-inch heels, a crop top, piercings, etc.
What I found disturbing was the fact everyone around, and there were hundreds of people as you can imagine, just stared, or laughed or pointed at her. I think many people even took photos with their phones. Not just young kids, mature people, people my age or older.
Once she got to Union she sat in a chair and off and on continued to call or yell out. At one point she sort of slumped in her chair like she had passed out.
So I went over to some staff and mentioned her behaviour. I didn’t know how they handled this type of thing but had anyone mentioned this woman. Of course no one had. They thanked me and said they do contact security who will walk by her and then get the appropriate assistance.
My point, with all the media and attention to issues of mental health, etc., how come nobody was concerned enough or cared enough to even mention her odd behaviour to one of the many staff.
Maybe she is just a character, but maybe she has a mental health issue or is handicapped in some way. So many of us know of someone with Autism, a mental illness, a handicap, etc. What if this was your kid or your sister or something. Wouldn’t you want to think that out of a thousand people someone might use their ever present cell phone to call 911 or to bring it to someones attention. Sometimes people act odd because they are experiencing a medical emergency, heat stroke, someone slipped something in a drink, etc.?
It took me about 1 minute to do this. Hence my tag line The Power of One. One person, one minute, so easy. Open a door for the person with the stroller, pick up something someone drops and hand it to them, say hello to someone that looks lost, it can make a huge difference to someones day. Oh, bake some of these bars and share…although it will take longer than a minute but it will be well worth it.
OK, enough of my grievances against mankind and on to the recipe!
Maple Pecan Bars (from Food & Drink, 2012)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8 x 8-inch pan with foil and spray.
1 cup all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1/4 cup sugar (I used dark brown sugar instead)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
In a food processor or large bowl, mix flour with sugar and salt. If using a food processor pulse in the butter until the mixture starts to come together or use your fingers to work the cold butter (cut the butte into little pieces) into the flour mixture.
Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 18-22 minutes, until golden brown.
Sprinkle toasted pecan over top of warm crust.
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp vanilla
In a medium bowl whisk eggs with sugar, flour and salt until mixed. Whisk in the syrup, cream and vanilla.
Pour over crust and pecans. Return to oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until filling is set.
Remove and cool. Cut when bars are cool.
For an even bigger treat serve alongside ice cream or whipped cream.