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Betty Crocker’s Delta Bars

A vintage bar that has serious staying power.

For not actually being a real person, Betty Crocker sure has given us an endless supply of incredible recipes. Take these Delta Bars, for instance. A vintage Betty Crocker recipe that hails from the 1963 Cooky Book, these dessert bars are made up of a soft and buttery cookie base that’s topped with a light and airy brown sugar meringue that’s studded with pecans. They’re a far cry from your basic brownies or cookies, but that just means you’ll be talking about them for years to come. (They’re delicious, so of course you will!)

It starts with the base. It’s a cookie base — think soft, buttery, slightly sweet cookie — so naturally you start by creaming together some butter and sugar. (And shortening, since this is a 1960s recipe, after all.) Once that’s fluffy, you’ll add vanilla and eggs…

… and then flour and baking soda and salt. You’ll spread that batter into a pan and set it aside while you work on the part that really makes these special…

The topping.

It’s meringue-like, but don’t let that scare you away. Just start by whipping some egg whites, and once they’re nice and frothy, add your brown sugar a tablespoon at a time.

Once you’ve reached stiff peaks (stop your beaters, pull straight them straight up and if the egg whites hold a peak, you’ve done it), fold in the pecans…

… and spread that mixture all over the cookie base.

After a quick thirty minutes in the oven, you’re ready to enjoy.

And trust me, these are easy to enjoy. A crackly, golden brown top gives way to a cloud-like interior that’s dotted with nutty pecan pieces and it’s all supported by a sweet and soft, chewy base of buttery cookie goodness. Betty Crocker strikes again!

Serves 12

15m prep time

25m cook time

Rated 5 out of 5
Rated by 5 reviewers

Allergens: Eggs, Gluten, Tree Nuts

For the base:
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line the bottom and sides of 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. You can spray the pan with nonstick spray to help paper stick.
  2. First, make the base:
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, butter, and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, and beat until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to wet ingredients. Beat on low until batter is combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan and press into the bottom using your hands or a spatula. Set aside.
  6. Now, make the topping:
  7. Add egg whites to a clean bowl, then beat with an electric mixer on high until frothy and starting to thicken.
  8. Reduce speed of mixer, and add brown sugar one tablespoon at a time while you continue mixing.
  9. Once all sugar is added, increase mixer speed and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in pecans gently.
  10. Spread mixture over the base and swirl the top lightly with a spatula or spoon to add some decoration.
  11. Bake until top is golden brown, 25-30 minutes, then transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.
  12. Once cool, use the edges of the parchment to lift out of the pan, and slice into squares to serve. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

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