I made these as part of my Christmas cookie boxes and my family claimed them as their absolute favorites. Everyone that tasted them asked for the recipe and I was happy to oblige. Now I'm sharing it with you! It's no secret though, as it comes from Martha Stewart and can be found on her website.
These were really simple to make. In fact the hardest part of the recipe is waiting for them to cool enough to cut into. I made them before we left to dinner and by the time we got home they were completely cooled and waiting for me on my kitchen counter. Nutty, buttery, crunchy, chewy...Oh come to mama!
I loved the edges of the bars in the pan because they got extra crunchy and sticky. They were also less pretty than the bars in the center so I ate them :-) I couldn't give less than perfect pecan bars as gifts could I? Another favorite part was the caramel filling that's made on the stove top BEFORE it's baked. Be sure to have a spoonful all to yourself prior to pouring it all in the pan. You'll be glad you did.
Pecan Bars from Martha Stewart
FOR THE CRUST:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
FOR THE FILLING
- 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) pecans
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil.
Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg; pulse just until a dough forms.
Transfer dough to prepared pan; with floured fingers and an offset spatula, press firmly into bottom and 3/4 inch up sides. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
Prick bottom of dough; bake until lightly golden, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool while preparing filling.
Make the filling: In a large saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly, until smooth; continue boiling, without stirring, until slightly darkened, about 2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Whisk in cream and salt; mix in pecans.
Assemble and bake: Spoon hot filling evenly over crust, using spoon to arrange and press in nuts so they fit snugly (create as flat a surface as possible).
Bake until bubbling and golden-colored, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
Using foil, lift cake from pan; peel off foil. With a sharp knife, trim edges (if desired). Cut into 6 even strips; cut each strip crosswise into 4 even strips to make 24 bars.