Pecan Pie Bars

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You gotta love a recipe that has 2+ pounds of butter. Talk about holiday decadence.

So, I was looking for a pecan bar recipe that didn’t include high-fructose corn syrup, which is actually harder to find than you might think.

This one totally fit the bill.

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Thanks to Ina Garten for this recipe. She’s my go-to when I need inspiration.

She never disappoints. I only fiddled with the recipe a little to tweak the flavor, because really, she’s a master baker.

These bars have a crisp, buttery cookie crust and a rich, caramel-y pecan pie topping scented with citrus and honey.

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Seriously, I could eat the filling alone by the spoonful. I mean:

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If you wanted to make the filling alone, it would make a fantastic warm topping for ice cream.

A little good vanilla ice cream, some pecan pie topping, a glass of bourbon on the side. Heaven!

Two parts to this recipe

Just like with a pecan pie, there are two parts to this recipe.

  1. The crust, which you bake alone for about 15 minutes.
  2. The topping, which you cook on the stove, then pour onto the pre-baked crust and bake for about 25 minutes.

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Warning: This is a big recipe

And by big, I mean BIG. This recipe makes a full 17-inch sheet pan worth of bars.

That’s great for the holidays, but if you’re not feeding a small army, I’d recommend cutting it in half and making it in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or something similar.

If you’re watching costs, the full pan’s worth of ingredients can get pricey, as well.

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A note on bubbling over

Put a sheet of aluminum foil down under the pan in the oven. Trust me on this one. You’ll thank me later.

This was my first time making these. I gotta say, I know I was pushing it with how full my sheet pan was.

I put aluminum foil under the sheet pan to catch any run off.

It overflowed onto the foil a little, but thankfully not onto the oven (which would have smoked like mad because of all the sugar).

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Pecan Pie Bars

Cookie Crust
1 1/4 pounds butter, softened (that’s 5 sticks)
3/4 cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (bourbon would be great, too)
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pecan Pie Topping
1 pound butter
1 cup honey
3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
zest from 1 large lemon
zest from 1 small orange
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, roughly chopped

Make the crust

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Make sure your butter is at room temperature so that it’s soft.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until well combined and fluffy.

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Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until uniform and well combined.

It will be a little soupy. That’s just fine.

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Toss in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until just uniform.

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The dough will be really soft and very sticky.

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Transfer the dough to an ungreased, 17-inch x 12-inch sheet pan. With wet or floured hands (to prevent sticking), pat the dough down to cover the whole pan evenly.

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Pop the pan into your preheated, 350 degree F oven.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until it is opaque and firm but not really browned.

(It’s going back into the oven with the topping on it, so you basically just have to bake it to make it solid.)

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When it’s done, yank the pan out of the oven and set it on a rack to cool.

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Make the pecan pie filling

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, put the butter, honey, dark brown sugar, and lemon and orange zests.

Set it on the stove over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to melt the butter and combine the ingredients.

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When the mixture is melted and uniform, raise the heat enough to just bring it to a boil.

Boil for about 3 minutes without stirring.

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After about 3 minutes, take the pot off the heat.

Carefully (hot sugar is like napalm!), pour in the cream. Stir well to combine.

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Then, toss in the chopped pecans.

Stir well to combine and coat all the nuts.

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Scoop the filling out and spread it out all over the cooled crust.

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Bake the pecan pie bars

Pop the pan into your preheated, 350 degree F oven.

See my note above about the pan bubbling over.

If your pan is filled to the tippy top, stick a big sheet of aluminum foil under the pan and bend the edges up to help contain any run over.

Better safe than sorry.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

If your pan did boil over, just slide it onto a rack aluminum foil and all. Deal with removing the foil once the pan is cold.

As tempting as it may be, don’t try to slice these babies until they’re completely cool.

You risk the filling oozing all over the place on you.

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Cut, serve, inhale

When the bars are cool, cut into squares.

Serve with a tall, cold glass of milk—or a tumbler of bourbon on the rocks.

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The bars should keep for about a week in the fridge, well wrapped.

I haven’t tried it, but I am betting they freeze well, too.

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Cheers and hope you and yours have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Nutrition

Calories

573 cal

Fat

3 g

Carbs

112 g

Protein

21 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info
Pecan Pie Bars

Yields About 4 dozen bars

These bars have a crisp, buttery cookie crust and a rich, caramel-y pecan pie topping scented with citrus and honey. (And as a bonus? No high-fructose corn syrup.)

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Ingredients

Cookie Crust
1 1/4 pounds butter, softened (that’s 5 sticks)
3/4 cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (bourbon would be great, too)
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pecan Pie Topping
1 pound butter, at room temperature
1 cup honey
3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
zest from 1 large lemon
zest from 1 small orange
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until well combined and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until uniform and well combined.
  4. Toss in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until just uniform.
  5. Transfer the dough to an ungreased, 17-inch x 12-inch sheet pan. With wet or floured hands (to prevent sticking), pat the dough down to cover the whole pan evenly.
  6. Pop the pan into your preheated, 350 degree F oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, until it is opaque and firm but not really browned.
  7. When it’s done, yank the pan out of the oven and set it on a rack to cool.
  8. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, put the butter, honey, dark brown sugar, and lemon and orange zests. Set it on the stove over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to melt the butter and combine the ingredients.
  9. When the mixture is melted and uniform, raise the heat enough to just bring it to a boil. Boil for about 3 minutes without stirring.
  10. After about 3 minutes, take the pot off the heat. Carefully (hot sugar is like napalm!), pour in the cream. Stir well to combine.
  11. Then, toss in the chopped pecans. Stir well to combine and coat all the nuts.
  12. Scoop the filling out and spread it out all over the cooled crust.
  13. Pop the pan into your preheated, 350 degree F oven. (Stick a big sheet of aluminum foil under the pan and bend the edges up in case your bars bubble over. This will help immensely with cleanup if it makes a mess.)
  14. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
  15. When the bars are cool, cut into squares.
  16. Serve with a tall, cold glass of milk—or a tumbler of bourbon on the rocks.

Notes

Warning: This is a big recipe. And by big, I mean BIG. This recipe makes a full 17-inch sheet pan worth of bars. That’s great for the holidays, but if you’re not feeding a small army, I’d recommend cutting it in half and making it in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or something similar.

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http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2014/11/25/pecan-pie-bars/


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

1 COMMENT

  1. I love these pecan bars! They are so tempting. It makes me crave for it. It looks so good and I'm sure it tastes great! Thanks for this!

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