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Pecan Bars

(Makes 2 dozens)

CRUST

All-Purpose Flour – 1 cup (5 ounces), unbleached

Light Brown Sugar – 1/3 cup, packed

Pecans – 1/4 cup, toasted and chooped coarse

Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon

Baking Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Butter – 6 Tablespoons, unsalted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled

PECAN FILLING

Light Brown Sugar – 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces)

Light Corn Syrup – 1/3 cup

Butter – 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick), unsalted, melted

Bourbon – 1 Tablespoon (or dark rum)

Vanilla Extract – 2 teaspoons

Sea Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Egg – 1 large, lightly beaten

Pecans – 2 cups, toasted and chopped coarse

  • FOR THE CRUST: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing the extra foil to hang over the edges of the pan. Lightly coat the foil-lined pan with nonstick spray.
  • Process the all-purpose unbleached flour, light brown sugar, toasted and chopped pecans, sea salt and baking powder in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about five 1-second pulses. Add the unsalted butter and pulse until the mixture resembles sand, about eight 1-second pulses. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake until the crust is light brown and springs back when touched, about 20 minutes.
  • FOR THE FILLING: While the crust bakes, whisk the light brown sugar, light corn syrup, melted unsalted butter, bourbon, vanilla extract and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the large egg until incorporated.
  • Pour the filling on top of the hot crust ans sprinkle the toasted and chopped pecans evenly over the top. Bake until the top is brown and cracks start to form across the surface, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, 1 to 2 hours; remove from the baking pan by lifting the foil sling. Using a chef’s knife, cut into 24 bars.

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