Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gum Drop Bars

Every family has its favorite holiday treats, and Gum Drop Bars top our list.   They're a little cakey, a little chewy, and just sweet enough.  Every bite is warmed by cinnamon, studded with bits of softened gumdrops and slathered with a fresh orange glaze.  This recipe was my grandmother's... to find roots any earlier than that, I'd have to go through 

These bars aren't trendy or sophisticated. They're kinda retro and they make me think of one-car garages and tomato aspics.  Excuse me while I go pouf my hair.  In the meantime, try making these for your family this holiday season.  You won't regret it.

Gum Drop Bars
4 eggs
2 c light brown sugar
1 T cold water
2 c sifted flour
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c chopped pecans
1 c cut-up gumdrops (not spice drops, and no black gum drops), use kitchen scissors dipped in flour for easiest cutting

2 T butter
2 T fresh orange juice
1 t grated orange rind
6 t powdered sugar (more if needed), sifted

Beat eggs thoroughly.  Add sugar and water.  Beat again. 

Sift flour with salt and cinnamon.  Sprinkle a little of flour mixture over pecans and gum drops and toss to keep them from sticking together.  The flour coating will also help suspend them in the wet batter so they won't sink to the bottom of the pan.

Add remaining flour mixture to egg mixture.  Fold in pecans and gumdrops.  Spread batter in greased and floured jelly roll pan.  Bake at 325* for 35 minutes. 

For frosting, start by melting butter in a small bowl.  Add juice, rind and enough powdered sugar to make a thin frosting.  Spread over bars while they're still warm and allow to harden.  Cut into 1 x 2 inch pieces and enjoy!  These bars get stale quickly but they do freeze well.


1 comment:

  1. Gum Drop Bars, orange and all, were my favorite cookie for a long time. But more importantly, they symbolize the love and special attention your grandmother bestowed on so many. She liked to send those bars to me and to friends away at college (including Mary F, studying in Mexico City). They were easy to package in boxes recycled from aluminum foil rolls (women were 'green' long ago) and they didn't get stale quickly. That image of shipping gumdrop bars was, and still remains, a model for me. Love, Mom


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