Pecan Bars Recipe

Pecan bars are a delightful treat that combines the rich, nutty flavor of pecans with a sweet filling and a buttery crust. Here’s a simple recipe to make pecan bars at home:

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped (some prefer to keep them whole or in large pieces for texture)

Instructions

Preparing the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add butter: Cut in the chilled butter using a pastry cutter or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Press into pan: Press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan to create an even layer.
  5. Bake the crust: Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly.

Preparing the Filling:

  1. Mix filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  2. Add pecans: Stir in the chopped pecans.
  3. Pour over crust: Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust, using a spatula to spread the pecans evenly.
  4. Bake: Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set.
  5. Cool: Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  6. Chill: For easier cutting, you can chill the bars in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  7. Cut and serve: Lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang. Place on a cutting board and slice into bars or squares.

Optional Additions and Variations:

  • Chocolate Chips: Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the filling before baking for a chocolate twist.
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Substitute light corn syrup with honey or maple syrup for a different flavor.
  • Salt: A pinch of flaky sea salt on top of the filling can enhance the flavors.
  • Bourbon: Add a tablespoon of bourbon to the filling for a deeper, richer flavor.
  • Lemon Zest: Add some lemon zest to the crust mixture for a hint of citrus.

Enjoy your homemade pecan bars with a cup of coffee or tea, or as a decadent dessert after a meal!

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