When I was thinking about what to make for the bake sale last weekend, I had a couple of qualifications. I needed to be able to make it in advance and it needed to be easy to transport. In general most bar cookies meet these requirements. I was originally going to make some blondies or brownies but I wanted something that didn't have chocolate in it since I had already made the chocolate-covered Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars and was also making Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. I had a big bag of chopped pecans in the pantry as well, so when I came across this recipe for pecan pie bars in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I decided to try them.
As is true for most recipes in the BH&G cookbook, this one is easy to prepare and will be in the oven pretty quickly. One thing that will make it much easier is a pastry blender. If you don't already have one, mine looks like this...
A pastry blender is really helpful when making a pie crust or a crumble. You mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then cut in the cold butter pieces. It allows you to mix the dough without your hands warming the butter so the little pieces remain, which is what helps make the pie crust nice and flaky.
Pecan Pie Bars
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 jellyroll pan with aluminum foil. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into cubes and add to flour mixture. Toss and use a pastry blender to cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles crumbs the size of peas. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press into a smooth crust. Poke several holes in the crust with tines of a fork. Bake about 18-20 minutes until light golden brown.
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl, beat eggs and add sugar, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pre-baked crust. Return to oven to bake for about 20 minutes until filling is set. Cool on a wire rack until completely cool. Use foil to lift bars out of pan and cut into squares.