Monday, January 16, 2017

Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars

As you probably know from reading this blog, I am not a pie lover. I'm not sure exactly what it is that I don't like about pie, but I suspect it's the crust. I'm just not a crust person. If I were to pick the pie that I liked the best, I would probably say pecan. It's my dad's favorite too, so maybe our liking for it is genetic. But if you take the crust out of the mix and replace it with a shortbread cookie, that's the dessert I can really sink my teeth into. That exact thing has been done in this recipe from Ina Garten called The Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars, and they are.

I have been trying recipes for pecan pie bars for the past three or four years. I haven't been wild about any of them, largely because one of the main ingredients is honey, and I just don't care for honey in this case; I think it overwhelms the delicate taste. But this recipe does not call for honey, and that is what makes it so good. I took these to dad's along with barbecue that I picked up at a local barbecue joint when number two son and I took Christmas Eve lunch to him. They were a huge success! They're easy to make, keep forever,  and I know this because, quite frankly, I'm still eating them. And I suspect they freeze beautifully, although I haven't tried that yet. If you love pecan pie, and you're a fan of cookies like I am, this is the best of both worlds.

Best Ever Pecan Pie Bars
(Thank you, Ina Garten)

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 pounds pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8" x 8" pan with foil, leaving a 2" overhang on each end. 

To make the crust, cream together the butter and sugar until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined.  Press the dough evenly into your foil-lined baking pan, pressing it up the sides a bit to form an edge. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.

To make the topping, combine butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, stirring frequently. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Carefully pour over the cooled crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Using foil edges, lift from pan onto a cutting surface and cut into bars.


Linda said...

I have tried pecan pie bars that other have made but have never made any! I can almost taste yours they look sooooo good.
I DO love crust and used to scrape the filling out of the pie just to eat the crust when I was little. I grew up with Granny Mitchell's pie crust and she used lard! I have pretty much duplicated her recipe now with butter flavored Crisco. Pecan is near the top of my fave list (gooseberry is Numero Uno) and I always use corn syrup and brown sugar in mine, although sometimes I mix brown and white sugar. Although I have tried honey and liked it, I know what you mean about it overwhelming the flavor. Back when I was catering I used to try different versions of pecan pie on my family, and they declared Allrecipes Honey Crunch Pecan Pie the best I'd ever made. I also had success with Pioneer Woman's pecan pie recipe that beat Bobby Flay (I still think that was rigged), but her Whisky Maple Cream sauce was a big factor in the taste of that one.

Sandra Lee said...

Oh how I wish these would magically appear on my kitchen counter!

Miz Helen said...

Your Pecan Pie Bars look delicious, wish I had one right now! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great day and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Linda at Apron Strings & other things said...

I'm pinning this one!
stopping by from the Homemaking Party this week.