Nom-Rating: *** (3/5)
In case you didn’t know (and you probably didn’t), the Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association Conference is being held in Bartlesville, Oklahoma this year. The conference is full of demonstrations, lectures, tours and special dinners, but the really exciting part (probably the only exciting part) is the pecan food competition.
I love competition.
Sometimes that’s a good thing.
Sometimes it’s not so good…just ask Mr. Torres…or my parents…or my sisters.
But a food competition is just plain fun! There are seventeen different categories and the Kesselhuth/Torres team will be tackling four of them. Mama K is entering her make-your-heart-melt pecan pie. Daddy K is entering his you-can’t-eat-just-one spiced pecans and his snack-worthy granola and I’m hoping to take home a prize with my pecan and molasses cheesecake bars! Go Team!
I came up with the idea for pecan and molasses cheesecake bars while looking around on the internet for a good pecan dessert to make for the competition. I had been contemplating doing a cheesecake of some sort, so I had that in my mind when I saw this recipe for Chewy Nutty Coconut Bars. A rich buttery crust, a chewy nutty topping…sounds just perfect for a creamy cheesecake layer in between!
The crust is super easy and requires only four ingredients. Butter or butter-flavored vegetable shortening, brown sugar, pecans and flour. Mix ‘em up and put ‘em in the pan!
While the crust is baking, mix up the cheesecake layer (aka the best part). It’s a typical cheesecake recipe and, as I divulged in this post, the secret to really good cheesecake is making sure that all your ingredients are room temperature.
The last step is the pecan and molasses layer which only takes a second to stir together. Once the crust has come out of the oven, spread the cheesecake mixture on top.
Then layer on the pecan and molasses mixture as evenly as possible. It’s tricky, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect. It will still taste delicious!
In the oven it goes!
Then in the refrigerator!
And then in your mouth!
Note: After eating a few of these and being a bit overwhelmed by the molasses flavor, I tried dusting a few with cinnamon and sugar. Big win! All the flavor is still there, it’s just a little toned down.
Verdict: This recipe is pretty tasty. It’s hard to go wrong with a buttery crust, creamy cheesecake and chewy pecans. Molasses have an interesting taste that I can’t quite decide if I like or not. Also, making three different layers means three times the cleanup. All in all, I just can’t decide if this is a winner or not. Mr. Torres popped a bite in his mouth as he walked out the door this morning and said that all the flavors really highlight the pecans. That’s a good thing since this is going to a pecan competition. I guess the final verdict will be left to the judges.
Nom-Rating: *** (3/5)