Christmas is just one week away and I have yet to finish my Christmas shopping. Surprise Surprise. I am however a lot closer to being finished than previous years. That is either because I have been more organized this year or because I less to spend on presents and therefore I am not buying as much and I finish quicker. I choose to look at it positively.
This will be the first Christmas for my daughter and I am quite excited. She will be 11 months old on Christmas Eve and she has been “helping” me in the kitchen as she walks around yelling and giggling trying to pull anything and everything out of the refrigerator as it is open. I can’t help but laugh.
Today I will share with you my Pecan Bars. If you didn’t get a chance to eat Pecan Pie at Thanksgiving or are just an addict to anything Pecan Pie related than these are surely for you. They are very simple to make and can be doubled with ease to create larger quantities for big families. They have a cookie base similar to a shortbread in taste and texture which is a perfect complement to the gooey sweet Pecan Pie reminiscent topping. The shortbread soaks up the caramel juices of the topping and isn’t too showy itself that it allows the pecan topping to shine in all its delicious glory.
A few little pointers for cookie number 2 in this years line up: Be sure to not skip the step of foiling the pan. Otherwise you will have a disastrous sticky mess on your hands and be very disappointed. Also be careful as you are adding the cream into the caramel mixture because it can bubble rather vigorously and we don’t want any burns just before Christmas!!!!
- 20 tbsp. (2½ sticks) Unsalted Butter; softened
- ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
- 1/3 cup Honey
- 1 tsp. Vanilla-Nut Extract
- 2 tbsp. Heavy Cream
- 1 ½ cups Pecans; Toasted & Chopped
- Preheat oven to 375º. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Be sure to leave excess hanging around the edge to have an easy removal later. Grease the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- To make the cookie crust, beat 6 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar in a stand mixer set to medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour. Mix until combined. Don’t overmix. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Dock the dough with a fork by making several piercings in the dough like you would to a baked potato before microwaving. Bake until the crust becomes light golden in color, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
- To prepare the caramel filling, melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, honey, and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cream and cook for about 3o seconds. Off heat gently stir in the pecans.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the cookie crust. Bake until bubbly and deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Using the excess foil overhang, gently lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into squares. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KAREN KUHN
ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013