Easy Pecan Bars with shortbread crust. A great alternative to pecan pie at Thanksgiving!
YIELD: 18 BARS
PREP TIME: 2 hours
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
FOR THE CRUST:
1 ½ cups (360 g) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200g) white sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
4 tsp (20 ml) orange zest
3 1/3 (400g) cups of all-purpose flour
FOR THE TOPPING:
½ cup (120 g) of unsalted butter
1 cup (180g) light brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
pinch of salt
1 tbsp (15 ml) heavy cream
½ tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
3 ½ cups (525 g) of raw pecan halves
Preheat Oven to 350F (176C)
To create the crust beat together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Once fluffy add the egg, and vanilla and beat to combine. Then add the salt and orange zest beat to combine, then add the flour in thirds, beating after each addition.
Turn dough out and fit it into a 10 x 10 pan that has been sprayed with baking spray. Preferably a removable bottom pan, otherwise line a 10 x 10 brownie pan with parchment paper or foil (2 sheets going opposite directions) this will make it easier to remove the bars once they are done.
Bake crust for 25-30 minutes or until fully set and golden brown.
Meanwhile prepare the pecan bar filling.
In a large sauce pot combine butter, brown sugar, honey and salt. Set over medium heat, whisking while the mixture melts and combines. Remove from the heat. Whisk in heavy cream and vanilla.
In a large bowl place the pecan halves, pour filling mixture over pecans and toss to combine so that all the nuts are well-coated.
Once crust has baked and is slightly cooled. Pour the pecan mixture on top, spreading it out with a spatula to form an even layer, making sure all corners of the crust are covered with the pecans.
Place back in oven, placing a baking sheet lined with foil, under the pan to catch any drippings.
Bake for 25 minutes, until filling is set. It will still look a little wet, but that’s OK it will set up as it cools.
Allow to cool completely at room temperature. Then place uncovered in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight is even better to fully set. They will be easier to cut if you allow to stay refrigerated overnight.
Remove from pan, slice the pecan bars into 9 squares, and then cut each square in half to create a bar. Keep the pecan bars in the fridge until ready to serve. Lightly covered.
30 minutes before serving bring the bars to room temperature. Place on a cake stand and serve! Enjoy!
The crust is thick, which I like because it balances out the sweetness of the pecans, but for a thinner crust you can always halve the recipe just on the crust.
These bars are sticky! For easy release, I highly recommend a removable bottom brownie tin (this link goes to Amazon where I am compensated on products sold at no cost to the consumer)
You can definitely make these a week ahead of Thanksgiving. Cut them into bars, then place them in a freezer-safe container lined with wax paper, separating each layer with more wax paper. Place the lid on your container and freeze. Then thaw out in the fridge the night before Thanksgiving!
YIELD: 9 SERVING SIZE: 1
Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 99TOTAL FAT: 5gSATURATED FAT: 3gTRANS FAT: 0gUNSATURATED FAT: 2gCHOLESTEROL: 31mgSODIUM: 24mgCARBOHYDRATES: 12gFIBER: 0gSUGAR: 1gPROTEIN: 2g