October 22, 2013

The Best Ever Glazed Spice Bars

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This is my last "family secret" recipe.

Since I've started blogging, I'm always looking for new recipes, exciting and creative twists on classic desserts. Sometimes, ordinary is good. First it was THE snickerdoodles. Then it was the apple crisp. Now it's these spice bars. This recipe has been used by my grandma, my mom, and now us kids for years. When we've had company, they'll tell stories of when they first tried these at our house (not kidding, it's kind of scary) and my brothers are practically famous for this among their friends. Yes,my brothers.  You can totally pull this off and become famous in your circle of friends, too. Because these are truly the best ever spice bars.

I remember bringing these to Awana for some section and Miranda, bless her heart, thought spice bars had cooking spices in them (like pepper and garlic salt) and was very hesitant to try them.  These are packed with cinnamon and brown sugar and allspice and vanilla, the spices if the sweet side. Honestly, we make this year round, all the time, so this may seem seasonal to you, and maybe even exciting, but to me, these are waaaaay ordinary. But that's okay. Because they're darn good, too.  They're moist, yet firm, and sweet and spicy. The glaze hardens to create that finished look, but still cuts easily. There is a reason the recipe has lasted through three generations!

Why does ordinary get such a bad rap?  It's like it's taboo to be normal. Our world is constantly advertising something new and exciting, whether it be in fashion or electronics or food. It's as if our status raises by being ahead and different. It's all about being different and unique. But when push comes to shove, I fall back on my old tried and true recipes.  Or my favorites jeans style that I know I like. I like the thrill of something new as much as anyone else, but I also know know new doesn't always equate best. Unique doesn't always equate right.  Just because its popular doesn't mean it's good. But I want it because I want to be different ... But I only end up blending in with the thousands of other people. I forget ordinary is relative. I forget its not ordinary for everyone to have three meals a day. It's not ordinary to be able to afford three pairs of jeans. Also, it's not ordinary to be homeschooled. Are any of those things wrong?  No.  Any of them ordinary?  Some are in America, some aren't in Africa. Some aren't in America, some are in Africa. It depends and I don't want my definition of ordinary to come from such a limited perspective as what our culture says. 

Aaaaaand I got all deep on you ... was not my goal. I can never seem to stay on track in my posts!  Anyways, these are incredible (for all the reasons aforementioned!)




Best Ever Glazed Spice Bars 
Recipe Source: The Sweet {Tooth} Life
Yield: 16-24 bars 

2/3 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Whisk oil, honey, and brown sugar together.  Add egg and beat well.  Stir in salt, cinnamon, soda, and all spice and stir until combined.  Finally, add flour and stir until mixture pulls together into a ball.  It will be very thick.  Press into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool before glazing.

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon water (add more, if needed, to achieve desired consistency)

Whisk all ingredients together.  To serve spice bars, pour glaze over bars (we tilt the pan to make sure each edge gets covered) and then cut and serve. 

30 comments:

  1. Those look so good and moist!

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    1. They sure are! Thanks for commenting, Jerica!

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  2. Family recipes are my favorite. :) These bars look amazingly delicious. So moist and irresistable!
    Tina at www.tinaschic.com

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  3. cool post I really don't have any secret family recipes. since you posted this for everyone to see this really is no longer a secret recipe unless you left something out in the recipe :) right?

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  4. Normal IS relative. We are all different and unique in our own way. Though the two of us bakers definitely have something in common :)

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    1. It is! Why is that so hard for us?! :) Aw, I agree Davida! Thanks!

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  5. My family has never cooked homemade stuff, so all the normal stuff is new and exciting to me ;) See, I agree with Davida: normal is relative ;) And these bars look amazing by the way!

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  6. Everyone needs good "ordinary" recipes in their baking repertoire. Even though I get caught up in trendy and unique ingredients at times, sometimes the classics are the best! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, that would be me ... pumpkin puree! layered cakes! chocolate bacon! Classics are simply that; classics (I forget that too often:) Thank you Meghan!

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  7. I can testify!!!! I've tried Mary Frances' bars countless times and they really are the best of the so-called "ordinary desserts".

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  8. Oh goodness I'm foaming at the mouth over here! These look incredibly good Mary Frances! I love all the spices and the texture of them and how easy they look to make! Maybe too easy. Could be dangerous haha. Thanks for sharing your family recipe! Putting these on my to make list.

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    1. They are dangerous ... I took them over a brownie at a function *gasp* Thanks for pinning Reeni!

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  9. It sounds like everyone loves these bars, that makes them extraordinary! Very interesting glaze made with mayo, I am very curious to try it.

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    1. When I first made it (I was, like, 7?) I didn't get the mayo either. Now that is the only glaze I use! The mayo makes it thick, yet lets it firm up. Thanks for the comment!

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  10. OOH. I would trust you on this even without the 3 generations of backing—but that's a definite bonus. It's like all the best fall spices packed into a heavenly bar... The best thing about living in dorms is the trade-off for baking things like this: everyone would love me for it and I wouldn't be faced with a whole pan tempting me all week!

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    1. Everyone would totally love you for this! And there is the bonus of not having a whole pan to yourself ... not the biggest problem in the world, though:) Thanks Irina!

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  11. These look amazing!! What a great idea!!

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  12. These look delightful
    http://www.allinasoiree.com/

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  13. These bars look great and I'm super in love with that glaze. I bet that glaze would be good on a few baked goods.. and good on a spoon too. ;)

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    1. Hehe, yes, it's really good on a spoon ... not that I know from experience!

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  14. I am definitely glad you decided to share these secret family recipe's with us!! These glazed spice bars sound amazing!!

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    1. Thanks Ms. Jocelyn! Tried and true are always my favorites on other blogs. :)

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  15. I made these the other day, Mary Frances! They were so simple and I loved them! (Spices for fall are the BEST!)

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    1. :) I am so glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know! We love it, too!

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