Monday, December 2, 2013

Toffee Shortbread Pecan Bars

A LOT is going on right now (nothing unusual there) I could potentially have some big news coming up soon (a.k.a. this week) if all goes well, that's all I'm gonna say for now because I do not want to speak too soon but... it's exciting! I also can't believe that we are already into the third day of December! This year has probably been the most frustrating/wonderful/emotional/stressful year of my life and I can officially say I am really looking forward to all the changes that will (hopefully) take place in 2014. Until then, I will buckle down, study for finals, and eat my weight in these pecan bars.

I am gong to be straightforward with you, these bars are straight up unhealthy. There is no denying it. I usually try and tweak a recipe to make it not AS bad but there is no saving this one, this is pure, unadulterated, buttery goodness in all it's glory and it is good. Man is it good.

I used to refer to these bars as Pecan Pie Bars but I thought that was an ill-fitting name. When I think of pecan pie a gelatinous nut sugar comes to mind (bleh) but these, THESE are chewy, sweet, and just a touch bit salty with the shortbread crust. They are ammmmazing, I must warn you though, I would highly recommend you make these in small batches because you will most likely consume them...all of a matter of days....or ya know, hours (don't judge me).

Toffee Shortbread Pecan Bars

makes 12 bars

For crust...

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt

For topping...

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 TBS heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans


1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

2.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.

3.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 pecans.

3.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.

4.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.

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