Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pork and Bean Bars

1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (16 oz.) can pork and beans
2 t. baking soda
4 eggs
1 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1/2 t. salt
2 cups flour
1 (4 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 t. vanilla
3 T. butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix pineapple with pork and beans until smooth. Add next 8 ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased and floured baking sheet with sides. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Spread with cream cheese frosting. For frosting, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar.

Yep. You read that right. Pork and bean bars. I should stop right there. I'm not going to.

This is from a collection of recipes in a monthly electrical co-op magazine - the collection is titled "Holiday Favorites". I'm not sure what holiday this is a favorite for, but it was published between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I can only assume it's one of those. I'm envisioning someone thinking, "Oh, I need to make some bars for that party at the Joneses, but I haven't gone shopping this week yet. What do I have in the pantry? Hmmm, let's see - some crushed pineapple, some pork and beans, all my baking staples. Oh, I know. I could make cheesecake bars. Wait. No...that's too boring. Everyone does that. Gasp! Oh, the genius! It's new. It's unique. I'll be the toast of the party!" Enthusiastically gets to work. Did I forget to mention that this person has been lobotomized and is missing half their brain?

I'm a little confused by the first instruction. "Mix" normally just connotes stirring together. However, neither crushed pineapple, nor pork and beans are smooth in and of themselves, and I'm pretty sure that mathematically speaking 1 non-smooth item + 1 non-smooth item does not = 1 smooth item. Are you supposed to blend them? Or just mix until thoroughly combined? I can't decide which would be better. The latter might just give the eater a little more warning of what they're about to get themselves into, so we'll go with that for now.

The next 8 ingredients, in and of themselves aren't too bad. They might just make a nice biscuity cookie base for some bars. But they don't exist in a vacuum, do they? Oh no. They're combined with pineapple and PORK AND BEANS! I get queasy just thinking about it.

I mean, with two cups of sugar in the base and a cup of powdered sugar in the icing, they're clearly intended as dessert bars, right? I suppose you need all that sugar to overwhelm the taste buds and fool them into thinking you're eating something nice. Maybe they're intended as hunter's rations - you know for all those hours you sit in the blind waiting for a deer or whatever to wander into the crosshairs. Dinner and dessert in one quick and easy bar. Or perhaps a new diet fad. 'Cause I'm pretty sure that if I managed to get any of these down, they'd pretty quickly be coming right back up. If that's all I had in the house I'd be losing weight in no time!

Oh, and they have some sort of weird time travel thing going on here. Apparently you're supposed to spread the cream cheese frosting on the bars before you actually mix it. Talented, I'm telling you.

You better not pout. You better not cry. You better not shout and I'm telling you why. Because if you do, I'm going to force you to eat one of these. Forget coal. Santa has a new treat for those on his naughty list this year.