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Ask The Chef

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I made these pecan bars for a party and a friend asked me for the recipe. Later, I asked her how they turned out. “I never made them.”

“Why not, they are so delicious!” I asked.

“The recipe was so strange that I was afraid to try them. It seemed like too much butter.”

Please, don’t be afraid; these mini pecan pies are totally delicious. Most bar cookies have a lot of butter in the crust. This recipe has very little butter in the crust. Instead, a melted butter-sugar praline mixture is poured over the top, which gives the bars a glisten and sweet crunch.

Pecan Bars

for the shortbread:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 pound pecan halves

In a food processor, mix together the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the salt and flour and pulse until the mixture is combined. Spread the crumbly mixture into a lined quarter-sheet pan (12 by 9 inches by 1-inch deep). Place the pecan halves all over on top the of the mixture, completely covering the pastry.

for the topping:

  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute. Pour over the nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cut into squares with a bench knife will still warm.