Quaker Soft-baked Cinnamon Pecan

quaker_cinnamonpecan-3It’s hard to be bold enough to buy an industrial-sized box, jar, or bag of X-product from Costco without either sampling it first, or having prior knowledge of it being tasty or effective. On some occasions I’ll risk a blind purchase and have had it backfire, for instance, a monster box of organic fruit leather. Without all the artificial corn starchy sugary syrups and fake fruit additives of a fruit roll-up, the rubbery brown rectangle was gross and we couldn’t finish them. And sometimes I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a brave new purchase, as in the case of a feta roasted pepper spinach-stuffed chicken sausage, along with a box of Quaker Soft-baked Cinnamon Pecan bars. The wrapper says to cut open one side and microwave for a few seconds which I would’ve done without suggestion. Warm, this tastes like a sticky treat straight from the oven with the right amount of textural crunch in the pecans, and that perfect ribbon swoosh of icing on top is just right. It would be nice if the bar was a little bit bigger, but as a morning snack with coffee, it’s probably perfectly sized.

One of the last things that I recall making that included cinnamon (but would’ve been drastically improved with the addition of pecans) was a beginner’s recipe for sweet potato casserole. I may have reminisced about this in a recent Thanksgiving post so oh well if this is old news. Joanna surprised me by requesting that she begin a tradition at Thanksgiving where she makes a recipe her own, and if we all approve, it would join the annual menu. We threw around a few ideas; my favorite actual involved her watching Tom’s Mom on Skype talk her through how to make her family’s fruit marshmallow salad recipe, or “Southern Ambrosia.” I ate it in leftover form back in college, probably in 1998, when all of us Ramen-fused kids brought our leftovers together for a sloppy potluck the weekend after Thanksgiving. But she decided that she wanted to make a trial run of sweet potato casserole instead, and she did quite a bit of its steps on her own. End result was insanely sweet, more than nudging it into dessert category than side dish, but it was so squishy and smooth, we decided it would need a crunchy element, such as pecans. To my amazement, Louise wouldn’t eat it – brown sugar? sweet potatoes? cinnamon? … MARSHMALLOWS? But after dinner was over and the dishes were washed and cleared, I scooped her a new bowl of the casserole, called it “dessert” and lo and behold, she ate it up. If I gave her a Quaker Cinnamon Pecan breakfast bar as a breakfast, side dish, or called it “vegetables” when giving it to her at dessert, she would still dive in. There’s really no mistaking it for anything other than a treat, and from the microwave, wow, I’m just glad that I risked buying a huge (now rapidly dwindling) box of them at Costco. Maybe a few of them should’ve joined our Thanksgiving breakfast table; wouldn’t that be an easy tradition. 5/5

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Categories: Miscellaneous

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