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Pecan Or Angel Slices From The Joy Of Cooking

Photo Credit: Simon & Schuster Photo Credit: Simon & Schuster

Irma Rombauer first published "The Joy of Cooking" in 1931 with her daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker, who updated each subsequent edition until 1975. Marion's son, Ethan Becker, returned the book to the family's voice, revising the 1997 edition for the 2006 75Th Anniversary Edition. That new classic features 4,500 recipes, hundreds of pages of reference material, 26 graphs and charts, and 238 illustrations, and has been a trusted kitchen companion for nearly a decade. Ethan's son, John Becker, and his wife, Megan Scott, joined the family business in 2011 and have been integral in bringing this iconic American brand into the digital age. Today, Megan and John blog about food and cooking at

Irma Rombauer, author of The Joy of Cooking, was an accomplished home baker. Quite a few of her marvelous creations remain in JOY's pages, including Pecan or Angel Slices. According to JOY legend, a former editor's wife baked batch after batch of these bars to send to booksellers, who then promptly ordered copies of JOY for their stores. Whether this is true or not, the message is clear—a heartfelt gift of something rich and sweet can melt many hearts. We recommend bringing these pecan bars to your holiday cookie swap or including on your Christmas dessert table.

Related: Vegan Ginger-Molasses Cookies from Chloe Coscarelli

Copyright © 2012 by Megan Scott Copyright © 2012 by Megan Scott

Pecan or Angel Slices
Makes about 12 bars

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 × 9-inch baking pan lined with parchment or foil. Beat in a medium bowl until well blended:

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Stir in until well blended and smooth:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Press the dough evenly into the baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, beat in a medium bowl until well combined:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir in:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup flaked or shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted

Spread the mixture evenly over the hot baked crust. Bake until the top is firm and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly wet, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack. If desired, while the bars are still warm, spread evenly with a glaze made of:

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Let stand until the bars are cool and the glaze is set.

Related: Carrie Morey's Black Pepper Biscuits

Reproduced with permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster. Copyright © 2006 by Simon & Schuster Inc., The Joy of Cooking Trust, and The MRB Revocable Trust

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