Monday, November 30, 2015         


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Sweet treats will please gift recipients


It's the gift-giving season, and we're sharing a couple of tried-and-true favorites that are sure to please anyone.

You might think that baking up a batch of these recipes will take more time than you're willing to spare, but they're easy to make and the results are well worth it.

A helpful tip: Gift your treats early in the season, before the onslaught of food gifts. They will be savored and appreciated.

Apricot Bars

1-1/3 cups dried apricots
2-2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chilled butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan; set aside. Rinse apricots, place in small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes. Drain, cool and chop; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and granulated sugar; cut butter into mixture until crumbly. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes; cool.

In large mixing bowl, mix brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Add remaining 2/3 cup flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. Stir in nuts and apricots.

Spread mixture over cooled crust and bake 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pan. Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if using. Makes 36 bars.

Approximate nutritional information, per bar (without nuts): 160 calories, 6 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 2 g protein

Pumpkin Gingerbread

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice mix
3-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional)
10 small pieces (about 1/4 cup) candied ginger, chopped
1 cup candied nuts (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth. Add water and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin and spices.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed. Add chocolate chips if using.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Sprinkle candied ginger and nuts over top. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour. Makes 2 loaves or about 24 servings.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (based on walnuts and no chocolate chips): 250 calories, 14 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 4 g protein

Candied Nuts

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Place all ingredients in small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and nuts are covered with melted sugar. Lay out on wax paper to cool.

Approximate nutritional information, per tablespoon macadamia nuts serving: 80 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 1 g protein


For more Hawaiian Electric Co. recipes, visit

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