Christmas Dessert recipe — Turtle Dove Bars
The critter has been mentioned in the Bible, the pairing instincts of turtle doves were integral to the plot of Home Alone 2 (one of those Christmas movies Macaulay Culkin made before he went odd) and is featured in a Christmas song that drives people nuts this time of year.
By the way, here’s a bit of trivia. In the 12 Days of Christmas, the “true love” referenced in the song winds up with 22 of the birds assuming she receives a pair of them every time they’re referenced in the song. How’s that for a gift.
So, the turtle dove looms large in our history even though they don’t exactly wing their way over to Arkansas. But the poor beastie has fallen on hard times. A few years ago, The Guardian reported that the turtle dove had decreased substantially in Europe to such an alarming degree that some people have question just how long the birds will be able to survive. Hang in their, you plucky turtle dove!
Enough of that. You’re here for a Christmas recipe and that’s exactly what you will have.
Turtle Dove Bars
For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup pecan halves
For the filling:
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butterscotch-flavored chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.
To make the crust, combine all ingredients except the pecans in a large mixer bowl and beat until well mixed and particles are fine. Press into the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking pan. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the crust.
To make the filling, combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 242 F or a small amount of the mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball. Immediately pour over pecans and crust.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly. Immediately sprinkle with butterscotch and chocolate chips. Allow to melt slightly (3 to 5 minutes). Swirl chips leaving some whole for a marbled effect. Cool completely and cut into bars.
More Christmas recipes here. Remember — check back every day through Christmas Eve for a new recipe.
Marci Nobles, a Benton resident, is a fantastic cook. Visit her on the Internet at The Crazed Wife Blog or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.