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Charmaine's Chewy Pecan Bar Cookies

Cookies, cookies, cookies! Christmas is the best time of year to let your chocolate chip cookie recipe take a vacation. Up your game with these Chewy Pecan Bar Cookies! It's also nice to take a minute to slow down and enjoy the people you have around you.

Chewy Pecan Bar Cookies -

This recipe comes from a dear friend, Charmaine, who left a family 0f 8 way too early. She'd be a grandmother to over 15 today and her legacy of love keeps growing. When Christmastime gets too hectic, I try to remember how she always made you feel like you were the most important thing in the day/house/world. When I really want to send a hug, I bring out this recipe and try to love my kids a little bit more.

Do you have a recipe that's special because of who gave it to you?

Charmaine's Chewy Pecan Bar Cookies

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn starch

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, blend together all crust ingredients. Mixture will be very crumbly but will stick together when pressed. Press into bottom of an 11"x17" jelly roll pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until crust is slightly puffed. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you mix the next layer. Increase temperature to 345 degrees.

4 eggs
4 tablespoons flour
2 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecan pieces
3 cups coconut

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In a large bowl, mix first five ingredients until smooth. Batter will appear almost syrupy. With a spoon, stir in nuts and coconut until blended. Spread evenly over the crust. Return to oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. While I typically bake using my convection setting, I find these cook better on regular bake so the layer cooks thoroughly before the top gets too browned. Remove and allow to cool completely.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 8-0z package cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of milk to smooth if necessary

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Frost entire pan with a generous layer of frosting. Chill before cutting. Use a sharp knife or dough cutter to cut into 1-inch+ squares. Makes 4-6 dozen bars, depending on size.

Note: The original recipe calls for walnuts, which I never have on hand, so I used pecans, which I always seem to buy. Cookies freeze well up to 1 month.

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