Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Dec 28th

This recipe turned out to be a surprisingly easy way to make a lot of dessert. This would be fantastic to bring to any event where lots of people would want just a bite of something sweet after dinner. These bars have a shortbread crust, a chewy pecan filling, and just enough chocolate to tie it all together.

My little elf helped me through the process. Oh and speaking of said elf, she cried during the crust portion and I had to do it one-handed; it’s most definitely not a difficult task. And yes there is a lot of butter, but most cookie recipes that make 2 dozen cookies call for two sticks of butter, and we are making at least 40 cookies here. Cut them into small bites and freeze them if you’re not making them for an event; they’d be frozen, chewy, after-dinner perfection.

Let’s chat about butter. You will find it salted and unsalted. Originally, salt was added as a preservative, when refrigeration systems weren’t so up to date. The amount of salt varies from brand to brand. For this reason, most bakers and cooks will use unsalted butter so that they can control the amount of salt in their finished product. I buy both, because I like the taste of salted butter on toast-type things. If a recipe calls for unsalted and I only have salted, I will just reduce the amount of salt in the recipe, usually by just 1/8 of a teaspoon.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Makes at least 40 small bars – 9×12 pan

Adapted from Joy of Cooking

Crust

1 1/2 c. flour

3 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter

*if you only have salted butter, only us a pinch of salt instead of the ¼ tsp.

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. milk

Filling

10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1 stick plus 2 tbsp).

1 c. packed brown sugar

¼ c. honey

2 tbsp. milk

¼ tsp. salt (same as above)

3 c. toasted chopped pecans

2 tsp. vanilla

½ c. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

¼ c. finely chopped pecans

Pinch kosher salt, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9×12 pan with foil. Grease the foil.

2. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using pastry blender or your fingers, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. “Cut in” is a baking term that means to blend solid fat with dry ingredients. If using your fingers, mush the butter between your fingertips in the dry ingredients, then drop that chunk and pick up another. Move quickly, doing the same motion over and over again. You will see that the butter chunks will get smaller and smaller.


3. Sprinkle milk on top and stir to blend. Bring the dough together in the bowl, kneading it gently with your hands.

4. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and press flat and evenly over the bottom of the pan.

5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until beginning to turn golden brown. Set aside crust to cool. Keep oven heated.

6. Combine in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat your butter, brown sugar, honey, milk, and salt. Bring to a boil.

7. Boil, WITHOUT STIRRING, for 3 minutes.

8. Remove from heat and stir in 3 c. pecans and vanilla.

9. Pour this mixture over the top of the crust and spread evenly to cover the surface.

10. Bake mixture in oven for 17-20 minutes or until mixture is bubbly.

11. Sprinkle chocolate chips over nut mixture and let sit for several minutes.

12. Spread melted chocolate evenly across the top. It may not cover every inch, and that’s okay.

13. Sprinkle ¼ c. finely chopped pecans on top. If using salt, sprinkle a pinch on top of pecans.

14. Let cool at least a half hour, then cut into bars.

Bars are best made a day ahead. Store covered and room temperature.

 

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Makes at least 40 small bars – 9×12 pan

Adapted from Joy of Cooking

Crust

1 1/2 c. flour

3 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter

*if you only have salted butter, only us a pinch of salt instead of the ¼ tsp.

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. milk

Filling

10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1 stick plus 2 tbsp).

1 c. packed brown sugar

¼ c. honey

2 tbsp. milk

¼ tsp. salt (same as above)

3 c. toasted chopped pecans

2 tsp. vanilla

½ c. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

¼ c. finely chopped pecans

Pinch kosher salt, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9×12 pan with foil. Grease the foil.

2. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using pastry blender or your fingers, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. “Cut in” is a baking term that means to blend solid fat with dry ingredients. If using your fingers, mush the butter between your fingertips in the dry ingredients, then drop that chunk and pick up another. Move quickly, doing the same motion over and over again. You will see that the butter chunks will get smaller and smaller.

3. Sprinkle milk on top and stir to blend. Bring the dough together in the bowl, kneading it gently with your hands.

4. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and press flat and evenly over the bottom of the pan.

5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until beginning to turn golden brown. Set aside crust to cool. Keep oven heated.

6. Combine in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat your butter, brown sugar, honey, milk, and salt. Bring to a boil.

7. Boil, WITHOUT STIRRING, for 3 minutes.

8. Remove from heat and stir in 3 c. pecans and vanilla.

9. Pour this mixture over the top of the crust and spread evenly to cover the surface.

10. Bake mixture in oven for 17-20 minutes or until mixture is bubbly.

11. Sprinkle chocolate chips over nut mixture and let sit for several minutes.

12. Spread melted chocolate evenly across the top. It may not cover every inch, and that’s okay.

13. Sprinkle ¼ c. finely chopped pecans on top. If using salt, sprinkle a pinch on top of pecans.

14. Let cool at least a half hour, then cut into bars.

Bars are best made a day ahead. Store covered and room temperature.

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