My daughter’s main protein source these days is pecans. And who can blame her really? Sweet, rich, not too bitter, and fragrant, pecans are a favourite in desserts like pie, ice cream, and cookies. So it was an easy decision for us to include this bar in our holiday cookie box.
The recipe was originally published in The Perfect Cookie, but I saw it reprinted in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. The base is just melted butter, sugar, flour, and salt, pressed into the bottom of a metal pan. Unlike the Millionaire’s Shortbread, this base doesn’t need to be prebaked.
The topping is very much like a pecan pie filling, sweetened with corn syrup and brown sugar. Four cups of nut halves get coated in this sugary mixture, and poured over the crust. In the oven, the topping spreads out evenly over the bottom, and starts to caramelize.
Were these bars ever good! It was like eating a thin piece of pecan pie, with extra nuts, and without all the gooey middle part. In fact, I think I like these squares better than pie.