Because I love you. And I love butter [oh Paula Deen]. And I think you should love butter too. I give you, Pecan Pie Bars.
Ok, disclaimer now. There are 3 sticks of butter involved in this recipe. MEANING you should definitely eat them all yourself and not share at all. I’m totally kidding. Sort of.
Anyway, I love pecans and I love caramel, but I’m not a fan of pecan pie. Not sure why. Probably the eggs involved. Ok, yes, it is because of the eggs involved. I have some weird issues with eggs. But let’s not go into that right now. Anyway, this pecan pie bar gives me all the things I love about pecan pie, minus the eggs. And bonus, it’s probably the easiest caramel recipe I’ve ever made. EVER.
I only have pictures of the final product because I was multitasking and making dinner at the same time. So basically you make the crust by mixing up some flour, brown sugar, and butter, then pop that all in the oven to bake. Put ALL the caramel ingredients into a pot, heat, melt, stir. Add pecans. Pour over the shortbread. Bake some more. Don’t worry, real directions are at the bottom. This was just my quick summary to show just how easy this recipe is – it’s foolproof.
Do you see that brown sugar pecan shortbread goodness? Mmm. And yes, I am eating one as I type. Don’t judge.
Ok, enough pictures. Recipe time.
Pecan Pie Bars
From Just a Taste
2 sticks butter, softened (the original recipe uses unsalted, I went with salted, I’m a fan of salted butter)
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (I also changed this to dark. I prefer dark brown sugar)
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 – 3 cups chopped pecans (I also increased the pecans, you’ll thank me. Everyone that walks by will pick off a candied pecan, trust me, so it’s better to have the extra
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
Cream 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. It will look somewhat like crushed graham cracker crumbs, but if you pinch it together it forms a shape.
Press the crust evenly 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 pecans.
Remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the caramel-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.
Remove the pan and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan [about an hour or so]. Resist the temptation to pull off a pecan or slice into it, the caramel will have not yet set and will end up making a mess. Not to mention, the hot sugar will burn you.
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. Share…you know, if you want.