As much as I love pumpkin, I think I might love pecan pie even more at Thanksgiving. I know that’s probably un-American and that the pilgrims are looking down on me with disgust, but I love, love, love good pecan pie. When I host Thanksgiving, I usually make sure that there’s a pecan pie right alongside the pumpkin on the dessert table. This year, these pecan pie bars will be there instead! I made up a batch of these to take to a party over the weekend and they were such a hit, and so easy, that I think Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to make them for a second time in one week.
Plus, as we all know, a 9×13 pan is bigger than a pie plate. Possible leftovers! Score!!!
I started by making a quick shortbread crust.
I used my pastry blender to cut some cold butter into a mixture of sugar, flour and salt. Keeping the butter as cold as possible and cutting it in will yield a tender, flaky crust. Once the mixture looked like fine crumbs, I poured it into a greased 9×13 pan.
Then, I put a piece of waxed paper over the crumb mixture and pressed it firmly into the pan. It went into the oven for about 20 minutes, just until it began to brown up.
While the crust was in the oven, I chopped up 2 1/2 cups of pecans. This may sound crazy, but these were the prettiest, freshest, fattest pecans I’ve ever seen. Next time a young volleyball player asks you if you’d like to buy some pecans to help support her team, take her up on it. (Thanks, Gabbi!)
Once the pecans were chopped, I melted down some butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan. As that was cooking, I beat up a few eggs. Once the sugar concoction was blended together and boiling, I added just a bit of it to the beaten eggs. This helped to bring the eggs up to temperature, so that they wouldn’t scramble as I added them to the hot sugar.
Once the eggs were all mixed in, the pecans followed, along with some vanilla.
Next, I poured the pecan mixture over my hot crust. Then, back into the oven it went.
After 35 minutes, I removed a beautiful 9×13 inch pecan “pie” from the oven. It took everything I had not to dive in right away. In fact, I made these the day before I was going to take them to the party, so I had to wait a full day! So unfair, but it was worth it in the end.
The bars were a hit and I discovered another easy twist for the Thanksgiving table this year. The crust was buttery and perfectly flaky and the filling was toasty-t0-die-for tasty. I can’t wait to whip up another batch on Wednesday! I’m drooling already.
PECAN PIE BARS
Adapted from Southern Living
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup butter
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2½ cups finely chopped pecans
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350*. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in ¾ cup butter thoroughly, until mixture resembles very fine crumbs. Press mixture into a greased 9×13 inch pan, using a piece of waxed paper to press mixture firmly into pan. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Combine brown sugar, corn syrup and ½ cup butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently. Remove from heat.
- Stir ¼ of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs. Add this to the remaining hot sugar mixture. Once combined, add the pecans and vanilla. Pour the filling over the hot crust.
- Bake at 350* for 34-35 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container. Can be made ahead.