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Pecan Bars - bite size!

the urban baker: Pecan Bars - bite size!

the urban baker

The Urban Baker is deliciously photographed blog about nourishing your family's soul through life in the kitchen. The recipes for fabulous savories and sweets are easily replicated and will inspire you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pecan Bars - bite size!

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I always bake, among many other things, my "famous" pecan pie.  My mother-in-law LOVES pecan pie and Thanksgiving, generally, falls on or around her birthday. Pecan pie usually adorns our dessert table - with a candle in it while nine adoring grandchildren, sing happy birthday to their "nana"!

I have been making this recipe for about 20 years and it just gets better with age.  Originally, I followed the recipe, exactly.  Then, as the years went on, I realized that I didn't like the crust and worked really hard to find the right balance between the dry ingredients, the fats, and the wet ingredients.  I now have one basic pie crust that I use pretty much for all pies and tarts. And the filling evolved as well.  I now make it more like a tart rather than a pie.  Makes eating a small slice much more friendly.

I wanted to experiment a little this year and had an idea to make bite sized pecan bars.  I reinvented the filling for my pecan pie and made these in a 13" x 9" pan.  These bars have a shortbread crust and I replaced the white sugar with sucanat.  This is not my original pie filling, but it is a pretty good version of it.

I loved these bars. I am going to make them one more time before Thanksgiving and make them in mini muffin tins.  They will be more like a "tassie" rather than a bar. I think I am going to wrap these up, in little individual boxes and give to all the kids teachers as a little pre-Thanksgiving treat!

Pecan "Pie" Bars
yields: 32 mini bites

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sucanat (or white sugar)
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup organic butter, cut into cubes
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 3/4 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

for the shortbread:
• preheat oven to 350*
• butter a 13" x 9" metal pan.  line with parchment and butter the parchment.
• combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your food processor.  pulse a few times.  add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
• press dough evenly into prepared pan.
• bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the edges of the dough are light brown.
for the filling:
• while the crust is baking, combine the sucanat, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of butter in a heavy bottom pan.  bring to a boil over low to medium heat.  Once boiled, immediately remove from heat.
• beat eggs in a medium bowl.
• ladle a small amount of the mixture into the beaten eggs.  do this a few times to temper the eggs (so they don't scramble and cook on you).  once tempered add the rest of the hot mixture to the eggs and combine.
• stir in the pecans, salt, and the vanilla.  mix thoroughly.
• pour over cooked shortbread
• bake for 32-35 minutes or until the filling no longer jiggles when you shake the pan.
• cool completely on a wire rack.  once cooled set in fridge for about an hour.  this makes cutting them a bit easier.  cut into desired size bars or bites.

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Anonymous Amanda said...

I have never seen these as a bar!!! How creative! And beautiful!


November 10, 2010 at 6:08 AM  
Anonymous marla {family fresh cooking} said...

I appreciate the small size and the fact that you used sucanat as sweetener in these pecan bars. I think each one deserves a candle! xo

November 10, 2010 at 6:11 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

I love the shortbread crust! Great treat.

November 10, 2010 at 6:46 AM  
Blogger ♥peachkins♥ said...

WOW! looks heavenly...

November 10, 2010 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Susan These little cuties look amazing. I love how recipes evolve over the years and knowing that you have reworked and created these make me know that I will try them. Funny how I'm starting to bake more since this group began. Just another positive. Thanks for the post...B

November 10, 2010 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Eliana said...

Forget Thanksgiving! I could enjoy these wonderful bites all year 'round.

November 10, 2010 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love all the layers, what a nice treat

November 10, 2010 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

I have never cooked with sucanat before but recently in my lectures I have been learning about the flavour and hygroscopic properties of less refined sugars. I must get back into baking and start using some! It will definitely be in the pecan pie I make for Thanksgiving :)

November 10, 2010 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger showfoodchef said...

I'm a big sucker for any food in bitesize, and then add pecans to that and I'm a goner. This looks like a great way to serve a lot of people at once. Love it.

November 11, 2010 at 2:20 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

These bars are probably soooo gooogg! here we love pecan pie too!

November 11, 2010 at 4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pecan pie is one of my thanksgiving favorites... what a great idea to put it into a bar- That means I can eat it as a snack, too!! ;)
That first picture is great!

November 11, 2010 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Better than candy! Small size is good portion control too.

November 12, 2010 at 4:36 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I have a fantastic pecan bar recipe too, that I have been making for years for Christmas. This year, I am planning on attempting to make it low carb. Wish me luck! I am guessing it won't quite turn out as delicious as yours...but low carb beggars can't be choosers ;)

November 14, 2010 at 4:18 AM  
Blogger Jami said...

These look delicious! Can't wait to try them. (I've never heard of sucanat, though... is it readily available?)

November 16, 2010 at 6:50 AM  

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