Christmas Food Gifts: Angel Slices

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is giving food gifts to friends and family. There's something about baking or cooking something scrumptious and packaging it up for loved ones that makes me feel so good inside. I guess you could say it's the Christmas cheer within my heart.

Every year, my mom and I dedicate an entire day (I am not exaggerating) to baking our favorite treats and packaging them up to send and deliver to our friends and family. Over the years, we have stuck with the best of the best.

From now until Christmas, I will provide you with my favorite food gifts that are well-received by friends and family. First up is my favorite Christmas treat: angel slices.

The buttery shortbread cookie serves as the base of these bars. Beat half a stick of unsalted butter, two tablespoons of sugar, one egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, then add 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour until everything is combined.

Press the dough into a 9x9-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the base of the bars bakes in the oven, beat two eggs, one cup of light brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. Finish by mixing in 1 1/2 cups of chopped toasted pecans and one cup of shredded sweetened coconut that has been lightly toasted.

As soon as the cookie bars are done baking in the oven, spread the wet coconut-nut mixture on top of the base and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes.

While the bars bake, make the lemon glaze by beating 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Pour this glaze on top of the bars once they are done baking. The glaze will harden as the bars cool, creating a glossy finish to these sweet treats.

I love how there are three beautiful layers to these Christmas bars. The soft and crumbly bottom layer melts in your mouth, the sticky pecan-coconut layer explodes with sugar upon each bite and the smooth glaze on top offers a tangy twist that complements the rest of the bars.

Angel slices are the epitome of Christmas treats. With their beautiful glossy finish covering layers of lip-licking sugary goodness, you'll think -- true to their name -- that an angel actually made these cookie bars.

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