Pecan Bars

Published December 12, 2006.

Why this recipe works:

For a pecan bar recipe with all the best attributes of pecan pie—buttery crust, gooey filling, and nutty topping—we found that the flavors needed to be concentrated. We cut back on both wet and dry ingredients to find the perfect balance of sweetness and gooeyness. We added a substantial… read more

For a pecan bar recipe with all the best attributes of pecan pie—buttery crust, gooey filling, and nutty topping—we found that the flavors needed to be concentrated. We cut back on both wet and dry ingredients to find the perfect balance of sweetness and gooeyness. We added a substantial amount of vanilla extract along with bourbon (or rum) to cut through the sweetness and intensify the flavor of the nuts. To maximize the pecan flavor, we toasted them. Adding ground pecans to the crust gave a final nutty flavor boost to our pecan bar recipe.

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Makes 24

Toast all of the pecans for the recipe (2 ¼ cups) on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350-degree oven until fragrant (about 8 minutes), stirring once. Assemble the pecan filling while the crust bakes. Once the crust is lightly browned, spread the filling on top and continue baking. Because of their high sugar content, pecan bars store well and taste great up to 5 days after baking. While we liked bourbon the best, dark rum is quite good. For a very boozy tasting bar cookie, add another tablespoon of liquor.

Ingredients

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