Pecan Bars

by angelika on December 15, 2010

Pecan Bars usually find themselves in the top tier of favorite desserts in my world. I am a sucker for caramel, any way you make it or serve it up. It is, without a doubt, my favorite confection. Even better, dare I say, than chocolate. (which I love, to be sure) Pair caramel with nuts and shortbread and I have entered food bliss. When I eat a cookie like this, I am sure there must be a god.

Pecan Bar

crust:
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
filling:
3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar or corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups pecans
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
Thank you, once again, to Martha Stewart. This is a tweaked version of her recipe. 
Preheat the oven to 375º.
Line a 9″ square with aluminum foil. I don’t actually own a 9″ square pan, so I used an 11 x7 . It turned out fine. 
In a food processor pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles peas and cornmeal. Add egg and pulse until dough pulls away from the sides. 

Transfer dough to the prepared dish and press it into place with your fingers, and/or and offset spatula. 

Prick bottom with a fork several times. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until it is just turning golden. Let it cool completely. 
In a large saucepan bring butter, brown sugar and agave nectar to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly until smooth. One smooth stop whisking but continue to boil for two more minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream and salt. Stir in pecans. 

Spoon hot filling over your prepared crust, taking care to arrange the pecans in a uniform or aesthetically appealing fashion. You want the top to be pretty flat and uniform. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes until bubbly. Cool completely in the pan. 
going in
coming out
Using foil lift the bar from the pan. Peel the foil, and gently cut into desired bar sizes. These are very rich and decadent, so I recommend a pretty small sized bar. As these are going into our cookie tins for teachers, I put each piece in a cupcake wrapper. They are super sticky, and I did not want them getting too friendly with the other cookies. 
Try not to eat them for breakfast three days in a row. I can vouch for it being a bad way to start the day. 
A votre santé! 

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