Monday, January 4, 2010

Oshogatsu [New Years] with my family

It was so wonderful having my cousins all under one roof for New Years Day again.  It had been 20 years since we were all together under one roof for the New Year. The only other times we're all together is either for funerals or weddings, so this was such a joy to just hang out and catch up.  It was with a lot of anticipation that my mother & I worked for several days just to get the menu done & ready for the masses that would flow through the day/evening.

We had so much food at the party, I didn't even realize that my stomach had that much room in there to down it all.   My cousin, Kathy, makes the BEST CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD EVER.  I mean EVER. I had the recipe but it just never tasted like hers.  Not to worry, I will post up this recipe for you guys but I'm sure that there is just some element missing from this recipe.

The one thing that probably stood out the most at the party was the Bacon Maple Caramel Pecan Bars a la SweetSavoryLife that I made for this party.  I decided to experiment a bit by using the caramel recipe from La Fuji Mama [adjust to fit products that I actually had on hand] along with the crust from a Pear Square recipe that I had.  It made for a dense chewy wonderful bit of deliciousness.  My cousins spent some time suspiciously hovering around the dessert table before one of them would actually take a chance on it...

This caramel was the one thing that was no longer left by the end of the evening [of course, I was hiding Tartelette's Dark Chocolate Truffles in a corner so I could take some home]. 
Bacon Maple Caramel Pecan Bars

 adapted from La Fuji Mama and Savory Sweet Life

2 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup Rice Syrup
1/2 cup Maple syrup
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 package bacon, brown to a crisp
3 cups pecans

1. Prepare tart crust recipe [below] in a 9 x 13 pan
2. Place the granulated sugar, butter, rice syrup, maple syrup and heavy cream in a heavy saucepan (minimum size of 3 quarts)  and cook over high heat while stirring until the mixture reaches 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 245 degrees Fahrenheit (firm ball stage). 
4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla, pecans and bacon and stir quickly.  Pour the caramel into the buttered 9×13-inch pan and set aside to cool.
5. When the caramel has cooled completely, cut into squares.

Pecan Tart Crust
 from "Cooking with Love", Favorites of JANM Volunteers
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cup pecans [chopped]

Soften butter and mix with flour and nuts.  Pres down in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. [Be careful not to overbake this - it'll make it very difficult to remove the bars from the pan.]


  1. Oh boy am I behind in my blog reading! Your New Years looks like it was so much fun! And I'm loving how you used my caramel recipe and Alice's recipe--that rocks!

  2. your caramel recipe is AWESOME. I mean, AWESOME!!! I use it for EVERYTHING now!! thanks for sharing it!!


Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails

wibiya widget