Pecan Bars

If you’re looking for a perfect dessert to take to a party or package up for a gift, this is the recipe!  The buttery dough is good enough on its own, but the pecan caramel filling makes this one of the richest and satisfying bite you’ll ever take.  Since they freeze so well, you can make them ahead, and pull as many as you need from the freezer.

Ingredients (makes 5 dozen squares): 


crust:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cold water

pecan filling:

2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter.  Pulse 20 times, until mixture resembles course cornmeal.  Add the cold water and pulse 10 times until the dough comes together.  If dough is too dry, add a bit more water.  The dough must be sticky.  Take dough from the processor and form into a disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Remove from refrigerator and roll out on a floured board.  The dough should be rolled to fit a 9”X13” baking sheet.  Carefully transfer the dough to the baking sheet and press to the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes, then cool completely.  Leave the oven on 350 degrees.

To make filling, combine butter, sugars, honey, heavy cream, and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Add the pecans and continue to stir until is returns to a boil.  Cook until the caramel is golden in color, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour into the cooled crust, spreading  until it is evenly distributed in the pan.  Bake until the filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes.  Let cool in the baking sheet on a wire rack, then cut into 1 1/2” squares.

DessertEvan Wei-HaasHolidays