Pecan Pie Bars

More nuts.  There never really are too many nuts. I began baking this recipe in 2000, and haven’t stopped yet.  Easy, delicious and  it cuts up into lovely little shapes.  What more could you ask of a cookie?

Pecan Pie Bars (Bottom cookie)

I found this recipe while searching through Epicurious for some sort of peanut butter bar.  Instead and so much better, I found this nearly fool proof and far more sophisticated Pecan Pie Bar.  Baked in two stages, the original recipe also included variations for Brownines, Blueberry Cheesecake Bars, Lemon Bars and Chocolate Macaroon Bars.  It’s hard to believe, but I have never baked one of the offered variations, always sticking to this tried and true crowd pleaser.

When deciding how to round out a dessert menu, I like to include something chocolate, something fruity and something with nuts.  I feel this combination provides most true dessert lovers something to feel good about.  These Pecan Pie Bars will be great on your sweet table during the holidays, they make great gifts and they even freeze well.

Pecan Pie Bars (www.epicurious.com)

Shortbread Base

1 1/2 sticks unsalted and cold butter, cut into small cubes

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Heat oven to 350.  Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and whir until combined.  Add the butter and process until finely cut in and uniformly crumbly.  Pour the mixture out into a 9×13 pan and press the crumbs in the bottom of the pan to form a crust.    Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven.  While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

2 Tbls heavy cream

In a large sauce pan, melt butter and stir in brown sugar, honey and cream.  Simmer mixture for about a minute, stirring occasionally.  Add the pecans and mix briefly.  Pour over the hot shortbread base, spreading the pecans and syrup evenly.  Bake in the middle of the oven until the surface of the cookie is bubbly and light brown.  Remove from the oven and cool in pan.

To make cutting easy, use a sharp knife or preferably, a bench knife, and loosen the edge of the whole cookie from the pan.  Invert onto a cutting board, flip over again, and cut into desired sized pieces.  This cookie cuts easily into triangles which is generally an unusual shape in a cookie assortment.  To do so, cut into large squares, then use a chef’s knife to cut diagonally throught the points on the squares.

Enjoy!

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3 responses to “Pecan Pie Bars

  1. Mary,
    Why do you add salt? The recipe I use calls for equal amounts of water??? All the other ingredients are the same just different quantities.

    Tina

    • Tina, Salt is a flavor enhancer and perks up the taste of even sweet dishes. It seems odd sometimes to be adding salt to somethings (like peanut butter cookies), but I always add it. Salt can make a huge difference in the taste of a dish.

      As for your question about the other recipes and water (?), I’d have to look it over, but this recipe is so good, I doubt that I’d venture out to try another for Pecan Pie Bars.

  2. I made these Pecan Pie Bars to take to a Christmas party and had several request for the recipe. They were a big hit and I still can’t stop thinking about them so I am taking them for Christmas dinner at my mom’s.

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