Hi, I'm Macy Fisher the Mifflin County Dairy Princess.
This week has been from one end of the spectrum to the other. Wednesday to Friday it was hot and in the 80s and by Sunday it was 40 degrees and raining. Don't get me wrong, I am so glad that we finally got some rain, but I was really getting used to the hot, sunny days.
Amanda and I took advantage of the hot days this week. On Friday the FFA chapter went to a contest called land judging. This is where we evaluate soil content and the physical characteristics of farm land. Professionals use the same techniques to help tell what the land is most suitable for like row crops or pasture. The past four years I have came in fifth at this contest of all the FFA members in the county. We don't have the results back yet, but I feel really good about coming in close to that again.
I had a really good day on Friday anyway no matter how I placed. I got to hang out with some of my friends from the other schools in the county. I have a lot of friends who go to Southern Huntingdon, who I don't get to see a lot and I got to spend the whole day with them.
April has really been a weird month and there are some weird holidays in April, too. There is Jelly Bean Day and Kiss Your Mate Day. April is also National Pecan Month, and to celebrate, all my recipes this week are starring pecans. Pecans aren't a big part of agriculture here in Pennsylvania, but in Georgia they are one of the leading industries. There are almost 88 million pounds of pecans produced each year in Georgia. That is enough to make 176 million pies! Pecans are an ingredient that you can have around all the time, for a long time. They can even be kept in the freezer since being thawed doesn't compromise the texture or taste. Nuts are not commonly paired with dairy products, but in this week's recipes, they are a perfect match up. These desserts are full of nine essential nutrients that will keep you going all day.
6 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup self-rising flour
5 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in an 8x8-inch baking dish. Place in oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until butter is melted. Remove from oven; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, flour, and 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa. Add milk and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Pour over melted butter. In a separate medium bowl, combine remaining 1 cup sugar, remaining 4 tablespoons cocoa, pecans, and toffee bits; sprinkle evenly over sugar mixture. Slowly pour boiling water over top of cobbler. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top of cobbler looks set. Serve warm with ice cream and pecans, if desired.
Pecan Pie Bars
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add flour, beating well to combine. Press into the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined. Stir in pecans. Pour over baked crust. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until topping is set. Cool completely in pan. Cut into bars to serve.