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Cookies are one of my go-to treats, and I love homemade ones best of all. Each year I try one or two new recipes, but there are a few I’ve baked for decades. Pecanettes and Chocolate and Oat Bars are two of my tried-and-true old-time favorites.

Pecanettes are my compromise to pecan pie. I love pecan pie – my family not so much. If I bake a pie, I end up eating the whole thing myself. These little cookies have a pecan pie taste, and a little of the texture. For some reason, even people who don’t like the pie do enjoy these cookies. (The last batch I made was a bit salty. I used sea salt which may be why, but you may want to cut back on the salt.)

The Chocolate and Oat Bars are so healthy you can eat them for breakfast. At least that’s my story. The recipe calls for oatmeal, nuts, and (condensed) milk, so how can that be bad for you? And then you add the chocolate, which we know is a “happy” ingredient. MMMMM, good.

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Pecanettes

Pastry:
½ cup butter
3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup sifted flour

Filling:
1 egg well-beaten
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ – 1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and cheese with mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour and beat until blended. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the mixture in each of 2, 24 miniature cupcake pans. Press around.

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Mix filling and spoon into each shell.

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Bake 350 for 18-20 minutes.

 * * * * *

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Chocolate and Oat Bars

1 cup unsifted flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand Milk
1 cup chopped nuts
6 oz. of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 (325 for glass dish). In a bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and butter. Mix well. Reserve ½ cup.

Press remaining oat mixture in the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes.

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Pour Eagle Brand Milk evenly over crust. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate chips. Top with remaining oat mixture; press down. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

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Store covered at room temperature.

©Mary K. Doyle

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