Friday, January 11, 2013

The Best Ever! Pecan Pie Bars

Every Christmas I ask our families what they would like to see in the homemade gifts that we give each year.  My family always says the same thing.  "Lots and lots of your pecan bars."

A vanilla shortbread crust is the base for this amazing treat.  2 pounds of pecans and brown sugar guarantee that this will be a very nutty sweet treat.
 
So, to surprise my family I made an entire 12x18 pan of pecan bars and shipped it to my mom for Christmas.  I told her if she wrapped them well they would keep for 6 months in the freezer. 

Would you believe that shortly after New Years my baby sister called and begged me to make her some more!  They were gone.   So, I am shipping her a 1/4 pan.  Shhh!  Its a surprise.

This recipe can be 1/2'd to make a 9x13 pan and cut into 1/4's to make an 8x8 pan.  I seriously recommend that you make these.  You will love them.

With love from our Kitchen Table to yours!

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CHOOSE YOUR PAN SIZE

The Best Ever Pecan Bars
makes a 12x18 pan (serves 24-36)


Crust
1¼ pounds (5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Topping:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup Karo light corn syrup
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18 by 12 by 1-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.

For the topping, combine the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.

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 makes a 9x12 pan (serves 18)

 Crust
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pound pecans, chopped


Follow directions above.  Watch your cooking time. Time will be decreased for smaller pan sizes.

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makes an 8x8 pan (serves 9)

Crust
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Topping:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 pounds pecans, chopped


Follow directions above.  Watch your cooking time. Time will be decreased for smaller pan sizes.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com

48 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Oh, you really should try them Elizabeth Ann. They are amazing.

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  2. These look fabulous - thanks for the recipe can't wait to try them!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jaclyn. My family seriously fights over these. Too funny, huh? Thanks for commenting.

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    2. if you use sel-rising flour you want add salt?

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  3. 9 sticks of butter...oh my goodness. How can anything with that much butter be bad?! I'm obsessed with pecan anything - I'll be trying these for sure!

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    Replies
    1. Seriously! But it makes a 12x18 pan. So, cut that in 1/4's and its only 2 1/4 sticks for an 8x8 pan. Just a little reasoning to be free from the guilt. haha

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    2. It's not the butter that gets me, it's the 2 lbs of pecans!! These will cost me probably 20 euros just for the pecans.

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    3. It's not the butter that gets me, it's the 2 lbs of pecans. I live in Europe, no big bags of pecans here except at Holland and Barrett. (Think GNC)

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  4. There are so many goodies i didn't get to make or taste from the holiday season, if we could just make it last a little bit longer! These look wonderful, and I didn't even get so much as a piece of pecan pie this year, gotta make up for that with these bars!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, believe me Sue... These bars make up for it all. They are soooo good. Enjoy.

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  5. Sounds like a square of heaven in your mouth! Thanks for the recipe!

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  6. Sounds like a square of heaven in your mouth! Thanks for the recipe!

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  7. Is it possible to get this recipe reduce to half the size. We are on a lighter dessert meal and just a taste per person would be adequate. \please post if possible. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely! I have even 1/4'd the recipe to get an 8x8 pan. Enjoy!

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  8. Sorry, i read it AGAIN and saw the REDUCED size version. Thank You.

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  9. could you substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup?

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    Replies
    1. I have never tried that, but please let me know how that works. It sounds perfect! I was going to try a recipe with maple syrup and brown rice syrup for my mom who can't have sugar.

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  10. Corn Syrup - is that like a glucose syrup?? I am in NZ and we do not have corn syrup here that I have seen

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    Replies
    1. I found this very great description for you from here http://www.ochef.com/362.htm

      Corn syrup is just what the name implies, a liquid derivative of corn starch, that is primarily the sugar called glucose. It is used extensively in the manufacture of processed foods and beverages in the US, because it does not crystallize as readily as sugar and is generally less expensive (although it is also not as sweet as sugar).

      It is available to consumers in the US in two forms — light, which has been clarified to remove all color (and which is essentially flavorless), and dark, to which caramel color and molasses have been added. Because of its tendency not to crystallize, it is often called for in recipes for frostings, candies, jam, and jellies.

      If light corn syrup is not available, you can substitute a sugar syrup made with 1-1/4 cups sugar and 1/3 cup water, boiled together until syrupy. If your recipe calls for dark corn syrup, we’d suggest using a sugar syrup with a dash of dark treacle or unsulfured molasses, both of which are derived from sugar cane.

      Hope that helps!

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  11. Made these the other day and they are already gone. Delicious!!!

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    Replies
    1. Is it really 9 sticks of butter???

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    2. Yes 9 sticks of butter to make a 12x18 pan (serves 36-48). Cut the recipe in 1/4 and make an 8x8 pan and cut into 9 squares.

      Enjoy.

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  12. 9 sticks of butter just doesn't seem right...even for Paula Dean! LOL! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes 9 sticks of butter to make a 12x18 pan (serves 36-48). Cut the recipe in 1/4 and make an 8x8 pan and cut into 9 squares.

      Enjoy.

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  13. 12x18 pan, is that kind of like a large cookie sheet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the size of a jelly roll pan, but that pan is not tall enough for this recipe. It may look like it will all fit, but it will drip out of your pan and into your oven. Use a 12x18x2 pan for this recipe. Enjoy.

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  14. So just half the ingredients to make a smaller version?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, halve the ingredients and make a 9x12 pan. Enjoy!

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  15. Can you give us the recipe for a 9x9 pan? I'm afraid ill mess up the ingredients if I don't 1/2 it correctly? LOL

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    Replies
    1. For a 9x9 pan -

      Crust
      1 1/4 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
      3 tablespoons granulated sugar
      1 large egg
      3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      1 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      ½ teaspoon baking powder
      ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

      Topping:
      1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
      1/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
      3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
      1 tablespoon heavy cream
      1/2 pounds pecans, chopped

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    2. Enjoy, and let us know how it goes.

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  16. Is there any substitute you could recommend for the heavy cream? It is 2 days before Thanksgiving and of course the store is out! Lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The next best thing would be half and half or milk. There is enough butter that the adaptations should not be too noticeable (due to richness). Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

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  17. Oh my gosh I hate to ask this but for a 9 x12 pan do you have the measurements? 9x9 is too small for my family.Please! LOL.. :):) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here the measurements for a 9x12 pan -

      Crust
      1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
      6 tablespoons granulated sugar
      2 large eggs
      1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1/4 teaspoon baking powder
      1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

      Topping:
      1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
      1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup
      1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
      2 tablespoons heavy cream
      1 pound pecans, chopped

      Hope that helps! Enjoy.

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    2. Thank you so much! :)

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  18. How do you know if it is "set"?

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    Replies
    1. The bars are "set" when you get just a little movement in the middle when you move the pan, as opposed to the giggling they do when not cooked through. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

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  19. I made it today. the crust was cake like. I was expecting more crunch. Did I do something wrong? I put mine in a 9x13 pan.

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  20. I wrote you earlier about it being to cake like. I didn't let it cool long enough. its much better now. very yummy

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  21. Confession: I made the 9x12 crust for a 6x9 pan. We love crust so all was good. It is the BEST EVER. I mother-in-law would have loved this too! Made for Thanksgiving dessert and my oh my were we ever satisfied. thank you :)

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  22. Silly question, but wouldn't a stick and a quarter of butter be 10 tablespoons? Since a stick is 8 tablespoons?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Point. I will edit it. Thanks for catching that for me.

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  23. Is there a way to serve this warm? :)

    ReplyDelete

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