Pecan Bars with Shortbread Crust

Pecan Pie is usually associated with Fall flavors, but being a Southern Girl, I can get down with these pecan bars year round.   Easy to make and ready in under an hour, they are perfect for potlucks, sharing with coworkers, friends, and family, or hoarding for yourself.  Because if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?  Cut them into whatever size you feel appropriate and then decide, who is Pecan Bar worthy?  You certainly are!  Everyone else? Geez... tough call.

Category,

Shortbread Crust
 2 cups all-purpose flour
 ½ cup granulated sugar
 ½ tsp fine grain salt
 2 sticks unsalted butter
Filling
 ¾ cup brown sugar (you can use either light or dark)
 ¼ cup light corn syrup (again, you can use dark if that’s what you have)
 ¼ cup maple syrup (the REAL kind, not pancake syrup. Also, if you don’t have maple syrup and don’t really use it or want to spend the extra money for it, that’s okay. You can always just increase the corn syrup another 1/4 cup. I like the flavor that maple syrup brings to the pecan bar party, but I’m not trying to empty your wallet!)
 2 tbsp heavy cream
 1 stick unsalted butter
 ¾ tsp fine grain salt
 1 large egg, beaten
 2 cups toasted and chopped pecans

1

Preheat your oven to 350° and place your oven rack in the middle slot in your oven. Line a 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. This will allow you to remove your finished pecan bars from the pan easily.

If you haven’t toasted pecans before, here’s your chance! Don’t worry, toasting nuts is super easy and makes them taste AMAZING. Place your pecans on a large sheet pan and toast them in the 350° oven for about 8 minutes. See? Easy. Set them aside for later.

Making the Crust
2

Place all the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse them until they are the consistency of damp sand.

3

Everything should hold loosely together when you squeeze them together between your fingers.

4

Dump the contents of the food processor bowl into the bottom of your 13X9 pan. It’s gonna look like a loose crumbly mess. That’s fine. Using your hands, press the crumbs evenly in the bottom of the pan. It will all come together with some pressure and the warmth of your fingers. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. We’ll make the filling while the crust bakes.

Yay! Filling Time!!
5

Place all pecan bar filling ingredients in a medium saucepan. Warm over medium heat until butter is melted and sugars have dissolved, then turn off the heat and remove your pan from the burner. Whisk your egg in a small bowl. Add a small amount of the sugar/butter mix to the egg while whisking. Add a little more and continue whisking. This is called tempering the egg, or bringing its temperature close to the temperature of the hot sugar/butter mix. This way, the egg won’t scramble when you add it in. That would be gross, right? Right. Slowly add the tempered egg into the rest of the sugar/butter mix while whisking. Add in the 2 cups of toasted pecans and mix. Now it’s ready!

6

Pour the pecan filling over your baked crust and spread evenly. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until it’s no longer jiggly in the middle. I HATE when i’m jiggly in the middle and so do pecan bars 😂 (Just kidding, cooksleepread is a blog about self-love. And pecan bar love. Jiggle if you want to. Jiggle jiggle.)

7

Allow to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour before cutting into reasonably small pieces and devouring like a wild animal. Try to share with others. It’s not required, but I’m told it’s polite.

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust
 2 cups all-purpose flour
 ½ cup granulated sugar
 ½ tsp fine grain salt
 2 sticks unsalted butter
Filling
 ¾ cup brown sugar (you can use either light or dark)
 ¼ cup light corn syrup (again, you can use dark if that’s what you have)
 ¼ cup maple syrup (the REAL kind, not pancake syrup. Also, if you don’t have maple syrup and don’t really use it or want to spend the extra money for it, that’s okay. You can always just increase the corn syrup another 1/4 cup. I like the flavor that maple syrup brings to the pecan bar party, but I’m not trying to empty your wallet!)
 2 tbsp heavy cream
 1 stick unsalted butter
 ¾ tsp fine grain salt
 1 large egg, beaten
 2 cups toasted and chopped pecans

Directions

1

Preheat your oven to 350° and place your oven rack in the middle slot in your oven. Line a 13 inch by 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. This will allow you to remove your finished pecan bars from the pan easily.

If you haven’t toasted pecans before, here’s your chance! Don’t worry, toasting nuts is super easy and makes them taste AMAZING. Place your pecans on a large sheet pan and toast them in the 350° oven for about 8 minutes. See? Easy. Set them aside for later.

Making the Crust
2

Place all the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse them until they are the consistency of damp sand.

3

Everything should hold loosely together when you squeeze them together between your fingers.

4

Dump the contents of the food processor bowl into the bottom of your 13X9 pan. It’s gonna look like a loose crumbly mess. That’s fine. Using your hands, press the crumbs evenly in the bottom of the pan. It will all come together with some pressure and the warmth of your fingers. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. We’ll make the filling while the crust bakes.

Yay! Filling Time!!
5

Place all pecan bar filling ingredients in a medium saucepan. Warm over medium heat until butter is melted and sugars have dissolved, then turn off the heat and remove your pan from the burner. Whisk your egg in a small bowl. Add a small amount of the sugar/butter mix to the egg while whisking. Add a little more and continue whisking. This is called tempering the egg, or bringing its temperature close to the temperature of the hot sugar/butter mix. This way, the egg won’t scramble when you add it in. That would be gross, right? Right. Slowly add the tempered egg into the rest of the sugar/butter mix while whisking. Add in the 2 cups of toasted pecans and mix. Now it’s ready!

6

Pour the pecan filling over your baked crust and spread evenly. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until it’s no longer jiggly in the middle. I HATE when i’m jiggly in the middle and so do pecan bars 😂 (Just kidding, cooksleepread is a blog about self-love. And pecan bar love. Jiggle if you want to. Jiggle jiggle.)

7

Allow to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour before cutting into reasonably small pieces and devouring like a wild animal. Try to share with others. It’s not required, but I’m told it’s polite.

Pecan Bars with Shortbread Crust

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