Monday, 19 November 2012

Pecan Pie Bars

I have made these to start off my HOLIDAY BAKING!  I'm so excited to have these in the freezer, waiting for December 1st, when I officially open the floodgates to Christmas in our house. 

Peanut batch

Fa la la la la, la la la la.  (Click here for some Bing Crosby Christmas music.)

Pecan batch.

I jumped on this recipe because it does not call for corn syrup.  Up to this moment, I'd not put any effort into researching why we should be avoiding corn syrup but just went along with the notion that high fructose corn syrup and the corn syrup you buy at the grocery store (to pour on vanilla ice cream or add to your homemade pancake syrup to avoid crytsalization) are similar enough to avoid them both.  I'm wrong!  YAY!  I can buy corn syrup again.  That said, please read a bit about high fructose corn syrup and always check the labels of the foods you buy, you'll find this ingredient everywhere. 

Unless you buy ingredients to make food and don't buy "food" prepared for you, then, you should be alright!

Enough education, let's get to the good stuff!

I made this recipe in two 8x8" square pans by using one batch of the base divided in the two pans.  I used two small pots to make the topping as I only had 1 cup of pecans in the house and I used 1 cup of salted peanuts for the other pan.  You can see the difference in the colour of the final products in the pictures, the peanuts are lighter in colour.  They are both good, but different from each other.  I'd do either again.  Chop yer nuts up real fine, like.  It's easier to cut and serve.

The pictures found at Just a Taste are far more luscious-looking than mine.  I think it has to do with the size of the pans I used.  Or perhaps I should've baked for about 5 mintues less, that would've helped too.

Pecan Pie Bars
from Just a Taste
For crust:
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
½ teaspoon salt
For topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream (I used 6%)
2 cups chopped pecans
- preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides, grease. (Or two 8x8"s)
- first make the crust by creaming together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.
- press the crust into the foil-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- while the crust bakes, prepare the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a saucepan and stirring it over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, then stir in the chopped nuts.

- remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over the hot crust spreading it to cover the entire surface.
- return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 20 minutes. (15 is using two 8x8")
- remove the pan and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan.
- use the foil overhang to lift out the bars and transfer them to a cutting board. Peel off the foil, slice into bars and serve or freeze.


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