Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pecan Bars

This is number three in the set of recipes I’ve made Martha’s Cookies book. I actually made these at the same time as I made the chocolate malted sandwich cookies, but it took me awhile to get around to posting them. These cookies were pretty tasty, but I was expecting the layer of caramel to be a little thicker from the picture in the book. I also thought the shortbread part of the cookie could have been a little thinner. If I were going to make the cookies again, I think I would make ¾ of the shortbread, and 1 ½ times the caramel. I also thought the caramel tasted a little strongly of honey at first, but that flavor mellowed. Even so, these cookies were definitely worth making, and got rave reviews from all my friends. This Cookie book has definitely been worthwhile, the recipes are a little truncated in their explanations, but they’ve all turned out very tasty.

Pecan Bars

Makes 1 13 x 9 pan, about 36 cookies


1 cup plus 2 Tbs (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
3 cups AP flour


½ cup (1 stick) unstalted butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup plus
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs heavy cream
¼ tsp salt
2 cups pecan halves
½ tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the salt.

2. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Continue mixing until the dough comes together in large clumps.

3. Press the dough into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Pierce the dough with a fork. Chill the dough until firm, about 20 minutes.

4. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and reduce the oven temperature to 325.

5. To make the filling (wait until the crust is mostly cooled to do this): place the butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, and heavy cream in a saucepan over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute.

6. Remove from heat, and stir in salt, nuts, and vanilla. Pour the filling over the cooled crust.

7. Bake at 325 degrees until the filling begins to bubble, about 15-20 minutes.

8. Allow the cookies to cool completely. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and invert onto a cooling rack, and then flip back over onto a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut into 1 x 3 inch bars.


S for Kitchen Confit said...

These pecan bars look pretty good. I appreciate your advice, as if I make these, I will add more caramel. Caramel is one of the best flavors, though sometimes it overshadows other flavors in a dish. Good to know I shouldn't be afraid to add just a bit more than called for in this recipe. But these look spectacular and I might try making them.

Amicus Cupcake said...

I definitely think more caramel could be a plus, but I'm also a huge fan of caramel. The picture provides a pretty good indication of how much caramel ends up on the bars from the basic recipe. Let me know how it turns out for you if you make it.

Carmen said...